Just Let Me -- G -- Indoctrinate You!

Sunday, May 28, 2017

It's a Hypothetical Melee Thing

Dear America,

"We drink all we can, the rest we sell."
slogan of a local coffee service company...
Cafe Moto

pretty sure this girl has used this opening before, so please, by all means, consider it just a free refill.

You're welcome.

as i was listening to a portion of a Freakonomics broadcast on my podcast app the other day -- following a suggestion from my college girl -- my head started spinning nearly from the start.  It was as if I had three cups of coffee and a red bull in under a hour, I only got through about 25 minutes before I had to lay down.

So granted, this may be premature, as I have yet to complete the episode she suggested...
It's title:  Earth 2.0:  What Would Our Economy Look Like?

But let me just jump right to it --

And I apologize if using the word hate is too strong, okay Katy Perry?   
[Wait.  No,  I don't....as she says, “Cuz I think like, ....the greatest thing we could do is just unite and love on each other, and like, no barriers, no borders, like, we all need to just co-exist.”]

Oh Katy, wake up and smell the coffee.

But let's not let that episode featuring total delusional, celebrity, stupidity distract us, K?

Back to the hypothetical situation, mapped out by the intellectuals and economists on Freakonomics -- their aim was to divine a new world economy -- hypothetically, of course -- if given a brand new Earth and could start all over in perfect harmony.....

....taking only the best of the best of economics, a population, and roll them up into a ball with lightness and darkness taking turns over the course of a 24 hour day, and assuming the oceans and rivers and mountains and valleys would be scattered around just as they are now.

What would the new world look like...what would this Earth 2.0 economy be like, if we had a chance for a big fat do-over?

Sure it is fun to think in terms of do-overs....I have actually walked down that do-over lane often over the course of a life time.  The beauty about it is -- by definition -- the possibility of a do-over only occurs after an experience fails us; it's beautiful, really, for it gives us a chance to learn from our mistakes, to make adjustments, to wage the pros and cons of brand new situations with fresh -- although now fairly seasoned -- eyes.

SO....Do-OVERS can ONLY happen after a mega-dose of real life experience throws us a curve ball and unexpectedly hits us right between the eyes.  And there in lies the rub.  We don't plan for failure; but oh my can it be good for us....with all that character building built into the remake, great and/or humble acts of cleaning up our act, and of course, making every intention of doing things differently next time around...oh the growth curve!  

And sure, what I just said can even be used against me,  to explain how Freakonomics even goes there for arguments sake  -- for rest assured, it's not only a good topic, the reality is, the planet is undergoing a systems failure of sorts; governments have failed; people have failed; we are ripe for a do-over and just how would that look?  It is a romantic notion.  If one is going to ask questions of importance -- this truly is a good one to volley back and forth over a cup of coffee.  It probably explains how Cafe Moto came up with such a killer slogan, too.

The thing is, you can't teach actual experience.  [Millennials are living proof...Those born between 1982 and 2004 have a real issue with understanding the elements, the variables, the vast amount of experiences, the stats, the inner and outer workings of almost anything revolving around our humble beginnings and that which became incorporated upon our founding, by virtue of America's Independence from Britain.]

But for starters:   To create a new world of utopian level economics of rather lofty ambitions, it would also require the complete absence of human nature, K.   For to err is human, right?   To err, to lie, to cheat, to be greedy, to hate, to hide things, to steal, to be deceptive, to be controlling, to kill, to sow seeds of discord, to terrorize other nations, to leak intelligence, to use an unprotected server to transmit confidential top-secret information, to hack computers systems, to be jealous of what other people have, to covet your neighbors wife or car, to embezzle, to illegally enter another nation and then make demands for health and welfare needs, to not understand the value of understanding 'we reap what we sow'...

"If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself."
And let's add this:   now going back to replay the quote of only a few days ago, by James Allen, of the ignorance of mankind -- those who only see the product of something, and not the "trials and failures and struggles which these men have voluntarily encountered in order to gain the experience; have no knowledge of the sacrifices they have made, of the undaunted efforts they have put forth..."  It's like they are missing something, right, missing a piece to a magnificent puzzle.

The thing is -- America WAS handed the experiences of failed civilizations (Rome, Greece...) by virtue of a Constitutional Congress of enlightened men, and given a course to take.  We were quickly named exceptional -- because we ventured out setting an economic standard that would ultimately be copied around the globe, while doing so alongside a government that protected a free people in every way, and oh! while practicing a religion of our choice.  It was an age of the greatest DO OVER EVER!

For the first time, kings and the powerful elite of the Church, did not hold the power --- for the Rule of Law featured a certain Checks and Balances under three branches of government, with our representation elected by the people.   Perhaps the first Americans were not all angels, but the foundation of a virtuous life WAS taught in daily life,  a life of faith held together by precepts and ideals handed down by God as part and parcel of every step, every course, every road we take.

Government relied upon mankind to do their fair share -- to do their duty... to God and to country -- and do so in the spirit of the greater community we all shared and its welfare.

The New World -- the forming of America -- introduced the free market on a grand scale.  Anyone could create a product/service and bring it to market and make a profit.   The good things would surely rise and meet success in the mirror, and the bad would be lost in a sea of failed ideas, poor follow through, bad location, greedy business practices, unfair treatment of workers, lack of funding, a horrible product, terrible service, stupid corporate politics....and on and on and on.   And all this being said without even mentioning the word 'taxes'  -- or the difference one good slogan can make...you go, Cafe Moto motto!

 And yet, here we are, between the natural failures and delinquencies of humanity, and the obscene amount of government abuses, the free enterprising mechanism is clearly not working under the burden of multiple attacks,  and capitalism, as a whole, is amassing quite the bad rap (unless of course, you are a liberal corporation ...amazon anyone? or a social network raking in billions).   [YES, this is funny]

OH and here's a big one -- even a "small scale economy," like America's, is already 20 trillion underwater (not including the 100 trillion in unfunded liabilities into the future)...would this new world, EARTH 2.0,  just forgive all debts and start over?  If America has amassed this much debt with 300 million occupants, how efficient could this new economy really be under a burden servicing 7 billion heads?  [Maybe I just need to listen to the whole thing, maybe the talking heads have an answer for that.....there is that.]

Forgive me if I sound a wee bit cynical, but if given the chance of an Earth 2.0 -- what gives you any confidence we could keep to the plan, Freakonomics?   Will we be a planet of robots that just do what we are told?  Will we all wear the same clothes, live in the same square modular home, and catch a free uber to work, fully supported by the new world order under the hierarchy of the government elite?  Yes, I am back to my head spinning.

It's just such a hypothetical melee today, isn't it?

We could hypothetically talk about starting over in many areas of life, not just the economy.

But what is the point of that? Where does that get us if the actual means to the hypothetical answers requires an agreement of profound ideas --  encompassing religion, economics, culture....right down to the language we speak.  It's simply foolish to begin at  "clean slate" when we are already well underway in all parts of the world, including 7 billion moving parts.

America began to fall apart the day we not so hypothetically changed everything -- the day we began taxing the people who had a job to pay for the welfare of those who do not have a job, the day we committed to paying Social Security for the aged, the day we committed to health care entitlements and Earned Income entitlements and even free college for all ...no wait, that last one only goes to those who illegally cross our borders.  [Just another nod to Katy]

For an economy to work in America -- and anywhere else, really -- people need to be in full agreement of the rules AND be knowledgeable as to how wealth is made and acquired, how a business is begun.  And from there, it becomes a process to be respected and admired, so that it has half a chance to be passed on to future generations, for the benefit of the whole.

But let's be clear, charity was never intended to be provided courtesy of the government.

Charity and the care of others was a burden, a need,  shared by churches and family and community involvement.

Hypothetically, this girls wishes for a DO OVER post dated to about 1935.

I know.  It probably could be considered hate speech these days --- guessing  heartless bee-atch would come swiftly next.

The thing is -- there is more than one thing going wrong these days, economically speaking.  Even the guys at Freakonomics agree with me on that.   We have made a real mess of things, having madly, deeply, sadly, veered from our original intent and founding enlightenment.  All the kids see today is the end result....and there is no connection to the sacrifices, the labor, the factors of time and place, the exceptional expression of individual virtue multiplied by so many souls at once....even the requirement to sometimes fail, itself, becomes a means to bring us to this time and place today.

[Considering this,  how many times did we fail at inventing a really good lightbulb?]

The economy and culture and wealth are tied together like a fantastic, continually operating, experiment.  You can't just start fresh at anytime!  IT all builds upon itself, from day one until the day the lights go out upon the world.

It requires every generation to learn all about it -- from the day we bartered a wheel for food, from the day we exchanged goods for services, from the day we past on the family farm to our children, from the day we took over the family business, from the day we started a savings account, from the day we graduated from college without a lick of experience and parlayed that into a billion dollar industry, from the day we dropped out of college and parlayed that into a billion dollar industry -- it's all part of bringing together what we know from the past and what we don't know in our future.  Individual ambition, and talents, and time, then promptly take over, making every day a possible DO OVER day, the kind of DO OVER that is even better than the day before.

Does one learn optimism?   What about the level of ambition, how much does that matter?  What about the difference between a man and his business who chooses to tithe back to his church, and one that does not?  There are so many variables upon which a healthy economy stands...Can all these factors be factored into the new world, Earth 2.0? SO many questions, so little time.

An economy -- large and small, domestic and international, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health is already a prime example of  an ever evolving co-existence, Katy, @zuck, the Freakonomics folks and anyone else who wants to talk about it ad nauseam over a cup of coffee.  But the funny thing about talk is that nothing actually gets done, and a healthy economy doesn't know how to respond to talk -- it only knows the principles of On, Off, Fast, Slow,   Supply,  Demand, Up, Down, Stop, and of course, Go....

It is called the activity of every season under heaven in a widely diverse, super connected, highly dysfunctional operation known as Econ 101 -- the prerequisite for any possibility of a 2.0 to occur.

I know.  It's a hypothetical melee, one that began on a slogan and half a podcast, and look at me go...
pretty sure with a cape and a rhinestone tiara, this girl could save the world...tee hee.

Just kidding...

That job is taken!

And thanks be to God for that!

So now, it's time for the Memorial Day Concert on PBS....
My salute goes out to the all who have served and to all who have lost their lives protecting those of us working the nine to five.  It's so easy to take our ease of society, our comfort, our safety, our shelter, for granted, when in fact, America rests upon such grace by the grace of God and those who actually gave their lives in wars past and present, so that one day we can hypothetically discuss beginning a hypothetical planet, Earth 2.0.

It's a beautiful thing...how lucky we are, how lucky we are, that we can count our lucky stars.

Make it a Good Day, G

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