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Finally. The column in Tuesday's Times by Robert Higgs sheds some sunlight of understanding into the darkness of our recent economic distress. While we seem to spend immense time on accusing each other as to who was most at fault for our difficulties, we may have lost the clarity needed to resolve the mess.
Our nation has prospered for most of its lifetime because we gained wisdom from our ancestors that the only economic key that turns the lock of our economy is private investment. There is no other method for America to reconstruct the needed stability that comes from a job for all that want one. Jobs will not be formed in number needed for a return to prosperity from federal government programs.
There are times in which our government must step forward to finance endeavors which become necessary, such as war. But even the cost of the most recent two wars was hidden from us by keeping them "off budget." Hiding the bills from those who fund the payments is not a successful means of arranging economic stability or credibility.
Our leaders on both sides seem to feel it necessary to remain in worship to John Keynes, the economist who taught us that if consumers refuse to spend, government should spend in their place. He taught that if businesses will not invest, government should invest in their place. If investors refuse to invest in a highly risky time, government should invest in their place.
Does no one in our capital grasp the bureaucrats, with no business experience, cannot make wise decisions about the allocation of capital in our economy? Does no one there see the chaotic mess our bureaucrats have made of Medicare, Social Security, the Postal Service, etc.?
Our last administration provided investment bankers with unlimited funds at effectively zero interest and our current administration leads us into ownership of car companies and insurance firms. Meanwhile those who are most in need of assistance, the hardworking backbone of America, are neglected and ignored, except just before each election.
My beloved grandmother, raised in Hall County, and never finishing the seventh grade, had more wisdom than all the clowns in Washington when she taught me well that government can give you nothing it has not first taken from you or others. Bob Dylan said it best as I consider our plight: "my weariness amazes me."