Tag Archives: 16 trillion

America’s path to prosperity

29 Jan

I think many Americans would agree that today America is on a wrong course. It seems that the economy for now is very slowly recovering from the meltdown of 2008 however how many of you still personally know people who are unemployed or underemployed? Right now we have record numbers of people on food stamps and government assistance, and in some states there are more people on unemployment assistance than are employed. Many on the right blame the policies of Barak Obama and the growth of the Federal government for the problems America is facing. Of course many on the left try to make the argument that Bush is the one to blame for not having enough government involvement and that Obama simply inherited the problems Bush caused. Me personally, I think it is the fault of both ends of the political spectrum. In fact I think the problems America is facing now did not just start around 2008, I think America has been going down a wrong path for decades and we are now seeing just small fragments of the results of bad government policy on both sides of the aisle. America has been overspending for decades. The Federal government has participated in over reach, over extension, over involvement and intervention for quite some time and now. I believe America has to take some drastic measures to not only dig its way out of the hole its in, but to set the stage for long term sustained prosperity. Here is what I think should be done;

Address monetary policy

 

I am no expert on the Federal Reserve. I can tell you though that I have a problem with the idea that a very small group of people who work for a company that looks to be largely a private corporation, being able to have so much influence over economic decisions, and the value of the American dollar. I remember refinancing my house when I was in my 20’s. The mortgage officer told me that maybe we should wait on closing for now because “it looked as though the Fed was going to lower interest rates”.  Why should one small organization hundreds of miles away be able to have so much influence over my mortgage transaction with the bank? Couldn’t this set up a scenario where thousands of people would make economic decisions based on the actions of a small centralized group? How is this any different from the centralized planning that takes place in communist countries like China or Cuba? Is this what we call economic freedom? The Federal government right now participates in deficit spending. They are spending more money than what is being brought in. Whenever the Federal government falls short of money they simply print more money which aids in the erosion or devaluation of the currency. Think about that, if you or me had maxed out our credit card, we would be thinking more along the lines of cutting back on our spending and paying off our debts. Instead, because of the Federal Reserve the government is able to keep spending money and they simply print more money when they run out. This has to stop. There were American presidents in the past who opposed having a central bank. In fact the Federal Reserve bank is a relatively new idea in the history of America, coming into existence as of 1913. The Federal Reserve bank is being used by politicians to pay off corporate higher ups and even give money to foreign central banks. Why is the government participating in this when so many Americans are hurting at home? It’s time to start having a serious debate in this country about monetary policy. It would be nice to see people discussing terms like fractional reserve banking, competing currencies, Austrian free market economics and bimetallism. The monetary policy in America needs an adjustment so that the American people can stop being ripped off.

Cut Spending

 

America is 16 trillion dollars in debt and counting. It’s my belief that the 16 trillion dollar debt, along with a culture out of control spending is the greatest threat to America.   Many of us have heard that 16 trillion dollar figure so many times, that we are now desensitized to a frame of reference as to how much money that really is. I’ve heard a radio talk show host put it this way. Think about how much money you spend in one day in your day to day dealings. You probably buy food, gas, maybe some spending at a retail store. What number do you come up to? Now think about if you were to spend 1 million dollars per day. Think of all the things you would buy if you could spend 1 million dollars per day. Let’s say you had a really really long lifespan and you’d been alive since the time that Jesus was born, and you were spending 1 million dollars per day since then. If you were to spend 1 million dollars every single day since the day Jesus was born you still would not have spent 16 trillion dollars. That is how much trouble we are in with spending in America, yet the politicians give themselves raises and ask to raise the debt ceiling. I’d like to think that if any responsible and sane person had 20,000 dollars in debt and were spending more money than they were taking in, they would rethink their spending habits and begin to make the necessary cuts to avoid staying in debt and get to a point where they were prosperous. After all, individual wealth is directly related to a person’s savings and their ability to save money. If a business were overspending and putting itself into mountains of debt, how would they ever be prosperous? The government is different though, when the government runs out of money they do not necessarily go out of business, they simply raise taxes or print more money. We see no serious effort even by the Republicans in Congress to stop the spending problems. I’ve even seen Republican politicians complain about spending then immediately speak in favor of the idea of policing the planet and fighting more wars, both of which are methods of spending. In order to address the spending problem, we have to start talking about limiting government to its constitutional functions domestic and abroad, and therefore the abolishment of certain federal government agencies. No reductions or tinkering with code or regulation…abolishment. Here’s how you cut spending; Abolish the IRS, DEA, FDA, TSA, and the Federal board of education. Make drastic cuts to the FCC, EPA, Department of Homeland Security and begin to phase out the Federal Reserve. Lastly maybe we should consider bringing troops  home from Iraq and Afghanistan and remove troops from all conflicts where war has not been declared by Congress against a tangible measurable enemy. If we were to do these things, I think it would be a great start to cutting some spending.

Rethink the role of the Federal government

Tying in with the spending cuts, I think it’s important for people to think about the role of the Federal government. I believe that we arrived at 16 trillion dollar debt because people over decades have been asking the government to do more and more and more. We have become conditioned to seeing the Federal government in a more centralized far reaching role whether domestic or abroad. Americans to some degree seem to have lost confidence in their own decision making abilities and have developed a fear of personal responsibility. In part I blame a school system that has not really seemed to educate kids on the value of personal liberty and the intentions of America’s founders to have a small unobtrusive federal government. But then I guess we probably should consider the origins of the American public school model  and Horace Mann, who was influential (along with the Prussian education system) in the shaping of American public schools. Do we really need the government to regulate so much of our lives? Do we really need laws and regulations every time something goes wrong? The people that are more likely to be in touch with your daily lives are your friends, neighbors and social groups, why not place more emphasis on solving problems at the local level rather than looking to the federal government to do things for us? Every time we ask the federal government to act, regulate, provide or fight a war it is costing money that America simply does not have. Let’s start having a little more faith and confidence in ourselves and our abilities. If we put some emphasis into electing officials to different areas of state and federal government who believe in the 3 solutions I’ve mentioned here, I’m willing to bet that we would see an economic turnaround overnight.

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