Beyond Stupid (The one mental misconception of Trumps’ Republican minions)
Bill Kaufman & Martin Westerman.
Why would anyone choose to live in a society among other people? Well, protection comes to mind. When you are asleep, someone else might be awake to alert you to imminent danger. In simple terms, the group can better protect the individuals, than can the individuals protect themselves.
Lately, some of the Republican senators (in particular the “libertarians”) keep stalling on an adequate stimulus bill, by bringing up deficits. And Trump and his collaborators did need this contingent to support him. And this mentality does pervade the whole Republican Party. Like Trump, money going to others, and not to themselves, is not ok. Trump simply needed the higher financial aid figure to firm up his support. After all, it’s not “his money” being given away. The libertarians, on the other hand, can claim to be clinging to “principles”. Now that Trump is gone, the deficit issue still exists.
It is true, our currency is backed by nothing but a promise. And a promise only makes sense as it relates to some future event. Basically, money is valuable only to the extent that it is accepted as a unit of exchange for acquiring goods or services, in place of a direct trade for such.
And frankly, if our dollar did fail (no longer being accepted by other nations, for example) private citizens and businesses would simply go ahead and devise a new currency. Bitcoin comes to mind, not the biggest deal really.
Direct trading once made sense in small communities, but as the geographical range and variety of goods and services in commerce became more complex there was too often a mismatch between those who had something you needed, and what service or goods that you could offer to trade.
Absent actual currency, procurement would be a ridiculous and laborious endeavor. So societies were compelled (necessarily) to all agree on an asset that could be accepted by all members. Thus, currency became one of the universal concepts of modern society. It is so basic an “invention” like cooking, writing, and housing, that no one can conceive of life absent such a concept.
Face Forward: Now think of life three hundred years ago. Without cars, computers, vaccines, printing presses, toilets, plumbing, modern farming, etc., etc.. Suppose all that stuff could have been acquired through a government that, to do so, created “official” currency? Indeed, a government that printed currency. Let us examine the harm created. Do we really need to? One thing, that government would be able to buy or invest in things that everyone needed. (Like an army to protect its inhabitants from foreign invaders, for example). But such a scheme would have one basic requirement, it would, of course, need to have recognized integrity. A country of laws, a constitutional government.
Much of the stuff created by deficits are actually assets, some quite necessary for modern life, these assets, many really tools, have greatly enhanced that life. Things that sustained, facilitated, and nurtured human life (think Medicare and Medicaid for example, and even the internet itself, not to even mention roads, bridges, tunnels, airports, etc.). And what about the space program, without which GPS technology (and so many other inventions) would not have occurred. And in return, of course, citizens would “pay a fee” otherwise called a tax, for the myriad services provided to them. And this fee would address the deficits and the cost of providing the myriad services that are provided to citizens. One might think of it like group buying in volume, and thus, at a discount.
Aren’t our very lives really assets in themselves? To whom? To others. Our children eventually grow up to look after us, as we looked after them. So many lives pave a path that make life better for everyone and those that follow. Think Jonas Salk, Newton, Einstein, the list goes on and on, and will continue to grow throughout human existence.
Today, you hold in your pocket, your phone, which is more powerful than the computers that cost a million dollars barely 20 years ago. And that same phone has access to super computers that are equivalent to thousands or millions of those earlier computers. How can you measure that wealth, when compared to the deficits extant in modern societies? It is on a whole different scale.
We talk about deficits creating inflation (an idea that seems to appeal to “common sense.”) Not true if we invest two cents and get a thousand dollars of value. That is actually dis-inflation.
We need to be measuring value, and not cost. Indeed, we are so wealthy, how can we even entertain the notion that we cannot afford the money to address the crisis caused by the coronavirus? Helping making lives better, sustaining the life, health and well-being of our planetary population is an investment, and not a cost, an investment that ensures the success of that population and their descendants, to the end of time. Can one say what is more important?
What really has more value?
TO BE CONTINUED……