"Think what you do when you run in debt;
you give to another the power over your liberty."
You know that feeling when you've got absolutely no leverage? The feeling that embodies every kind of self-deprecating, self-loathing back talk that comes to mind and goes a little something like 'what the hell is wrong with you...how in the world did you get yourself in this position...what were you thinking?'
Now imagine all of us feeling the same way for months on end.
Personally, I think I've grown accustomed to getting myself into this state of dysfunction a few times over -- and quite honestly, am in it right now; but when also surrounded by it at the same time? Never in my life.
I'm just wondering at this point just how many pandas would it take to settle our debt to China? I mean, America seems to do a pretty good job producing those sweet things -- and had to give a couple of them up just this week per our agreement with the communist state. Just gotta wonder, what is the exchange rate these days? Is there any way we could use any of this to our advantage? Inquiring minds wanna know.
Oh if it were only as simple as living within our means, not trusting other people to do what we should be doing for ourselves, and saving for a rainy day.
Oh, that's right, it is.
Remember now, G really knows no better herself these days -- shamefully, I am guilty as charged; even if I can rationalize my ever so loving badness with equally dynamic justifications. Things like:
'I had no other choice'
'blame it on the single mother syndrome'
'I couldn't prevent an ill set of circumstances
'the devil made me do it' --
just a little bit of nostalgia
for one of my favorite entertainers of my era,
But lucky for all of us, the other nagging feeling I have laying around is also an overwhelming groundswell of understanding and enlightenment -- to put it another way, I think we truly do get it now (or maybe that's just me).
The Patriot Post, a must read and go-to spot for picking me up when the chips are down, was memorializing a few words of wisdom from the quintessential American President, Ronald Reagan, this past week (in honor of his birthday -- which is tomorrow).
Just after he left the democratic party and switched right (who knew!), President Reagan said this:
"But I suggest there is no such thing as a left or right, there is only up or down. Up to man's age-old dream -- the maximum of individual freedom consistent with order -- or down, to the ant heap of totalitarianism."Individually and collectively, we are either making choices 'going up' or 'coming down' from the moment we rise to the hour we lay our head to rest; and truly our best and soundest choices come when we still hold a few cards, and certainly, when not also up against a wall.
A little leverage goes a long way.
A little poker face knowing full and well we're sitting on a royal flush gives us the upper hand.
A little security knowing we would never bet the ranch for a something too good to be true rests confidence in our actions.
Along with first and foremost, a little common sense -- not putting ourself in a game that risks everything unless of course we can afford it in the first place. (But then again, aren't we full circle -- who really goes all in anymore?)
When we jeopardize our ability to stay afloat on our own, we no longer have the ability to make good choices; and quite possibly, it may not even be our own decision to make an longer. We can no longer think long and hard about which way to go; we simply react. And when we do, it comes from a position of desperation, rather than preservation -- and so begins the downward cycle, digging ourselves deeper into a hole, using debt to get us out of debt, robbing Peter to pay Paul, piling ourselves up one on top of another like an ant heap. The only one's who have it good are those on the top.
Hyundai's latest commercial includes the spokesman saying, "the economy hasn't really turned around for any of us -- until it's turned around for all of us" adding "think about it" in print, right underneath their logo center screen."Extreme taxation, excessive controls, oppressive government competition with business...frustrated minorities and forgotten Americans are not the products of free enterprise. They are the residue of centralized bureaucracy, of government by a self-appointed elite." Ronald Reagan
Think about it. This, in true Texas Hold'em, all for one and one for all style, is America's true leverage; and only when we get back to the principles which created America over two hundred years ago, will we be able to achieve it. Democrats made fun of the republican supply-side economics which came to shine under the Reagan years -- labeling it "trickle-down economics". But the reality is, the more people succeed, the more economic prosperity for all of us and the better America will be for it.
Basically, when you couple lowering tax rates with reducing government spending, the private sector will grow (less burden and more room for expansion and hiring and production), which will in turn, grow the national GDP -- in the end, if in fact the end justifies the means (ha ha ha, a little Chicago style political humor there) then, even in spite of the lower levels of taxation, a greater amount of revenue occurs -- as the pool of supply from business exponentially expands -- as everyone is in it!
Thereby, if the people are working, and if the federal governement remains limited in power and under control, prosperity can only go up.
I didn't really get the whole supply-side thing until now -- but better late than never.
We simply can't afford the position of having no leverage -- as things like our government ignoring Chinese spies in our own backyard starts to occur; we begin to be dependent of our energy supply to come from the other side of the world; we slowly watch American factories and call centers move to India or Timbuktu; as we come to realize that we must come out of pocket to cover the interest alone on our debt, before even thinking about how to whittle down the principle, at a rate we can no longer sustain, becomes more and more clear -- immediately causing us to shudder in fear.
It's a natural progression -- losing our freedoms, paying above market rate for things, becoming more reliant on a government and less reliant on our own capabilities, digging ourselves into a ditch already overrun with ants piling on top of each other. With the have-nots in plenty supply, with economic growth penalized and simple liberties at risk, with the emphasis continuing to come out of Washington controlling the market, the people, the income, the taxation, the entitlements, the over the debt ceiling spending-- overall growth can only occur for one thing, and one thing only, government. And with that kind of supply-side economics going on, we will surely go down.
There is no up.
"If the day should ever arrive (which God forbid!) when the people of the different parts of our country shall allow their local affairs to be administered by prefects sent from Washington, and when the self-government of the states shall have been so far lost as that of the departments of France, or even so closely limited as that of the countries of England -- on that day the political career of the American people will have been robbed of its most interesting and valuable features, and the usefulness of this nation will be lamentably impaired."
John Fiske, American Historian
There is no turn around -- until the people turn it around -- and thankfully, according to our Constitution, the only leverage we will ever need.
Make it a Good Day, G