Here is some wisdom from the past that makes you think these people were watching us in action in 21st Century America.
Winston Churchill said that “Democracy is the worst form of government except for all those others that have been tried.” He also said, “The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.” I would argue that it may be difficult to find an average voter with the attention span needed for a five-minute conversation.
Churchill also said, “The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings; the inherent virtue of socialism is the equal sharing of miseries.” I would suggest that Churchill erred in that he neglected to take note of the fact that the “political leaders” of socialist nations do not get an equal share of the miseries. Those with the power, take the cream off the top. It is good enough for them to let others share the misery.
Alexander Frazer Tytler has written, that “A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover they can vote themselves largesse out of the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority,” he said, “always vote for the candidate promising the most benefits from the treasury with the result that democracy always collpases over a loose fiscal policy, always to be followed by a dictatorship.” Proof positive that Tytler was right was the result of the 2012 Elections.
Margaret Thatcher said, “The trouble with Socialism is that eventually you run out of other people’s money.” For the USA today, I think fortunately, there are enough other people out there willing to buy our notes that we have not yet run out of other people’s money. But the time is coming, soon.
Ronald Reagan said, “We don’t have a trillion-dollar debt because we haven’t taxed enough; we have a trillion-dollar debt because we spend too much.” he also said, “The best minds are NOT in government. If any were, business would hire them away.” and, “Government is not the solution to our problem. Government is the problem.” Hard to argue with any of those points.
And, it was Henry Ford who said, “Any man who thinks he can be happy and prosperous by letting the Government take care if him; better take a closer look at the American Indian.” (thanks to Eric in Brazil who showed me this one for the first time.)
No National Debt was ever caused by taxing too little. By definition, debt can only be caused by spending more than one has to spend and by borrowing more than one can pay back. Spending is the problem but our Congress and our enlightened President want to argue about how much to tax us rather than how much they could reduce spending with just a little restraint.
The current U.S. Government Budget crisis can be solved by one of two methods. Each solution will create problems of its own. Either we can borrow without limit until we can pay for all of the services we want from our government, or we can cut spending without limit until we have only government services that we truly need. If we borrow without limit, eventually no lender will be willing to lend and our source of capital will dry up. Or, we can cut spending without limit. If we do that, at some point a majority of people will feel that we are cutting services that are necessary to live. Which path do you think has the easier solution? If we run out of money and there is no one left who is willing to lend us more, are we forced to cut government services?
My friend Jim believes we could do better with a form of Meritocracy, requiring certain merits from individuals before they would be able to do certain things. For example (my words, not his) it would make sense that a person should be able to show competence flying a plane before he is allowed to pilot the plane while carrying passengers. This is actually a requirement in most developed countries today. But do they require that a person be responsible before he or she can parent a child or that he or she be informed about issues before voting? There is real merit to a system that rewards discipline, thrift, labor, and common sense. There was once a nation which did just that, the United States until about 100 years ago.
How nice it would be to have a leader who measured up to the leaders quoted above.