It’s an unfortunate truth that, when people are worried about the future, they often put their faith in politicians to somehow make everything better.
Politicians, of course, are famous for promising panaceas for whatever is troubling voters, and they even invent new troubles to worry about, presenting themselves as the only ones who can solve these woes.
Not surprising then, that, over time, any nation may slowly deteriorate into a population of nebbishes who turn to their government to do their thinking for them and take responsibility for their futures.
In the last year, the world has seen many elections in which the top spot (president, prime minister, premier, etc.) was contested. In Brazil, socialist President Dilma Rousseff was returned, but almost immediately ran into trouble over a failing economy, scandals, and corruption charges. In less than a year, her popularity sank to the lowest level for any Brazilian president on record.
In the UK, conservative Prime Minister David Cameron was returned, which immediately triggered riots in London by the anti-austerity crowd. He will soon be facing increasingly angry voters of all stripes who are boiling over with the dramatically worsening immigration question. In addition, he’ll soon be facing a referendum on the UK’s membership in the EU – an eventuality he’s been postponing for quite some time.
In Canada, voters have chosen to oust the conservatives and return to the golden promises of the Trudeaus. The Canadian dollar dropped immediately. Justin Trudeau plans a vast programme of public spending in the face of a declining economy, but hasn’t offered any explanation as to how this can be paid for.
Argentina has just had its election. The departing Peronist, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, has passed the baton (and a failing economy, rapidly declining peso, and civil unrest) to the more conservative Mauricio Macri.
Do we see a pattern here? No, except in the sense that countries habitually put in a conservative for a while, tire of him, and replace him with a liberal, then tire of him, and replace him with a conservative.
None of these leaders will be the solution to the problems of their nations. In fact, they are the problem. Each of them (and many others around the world) offered dramatic, unrealistic campaign promises for ever-increasing largesse from the government. Each will increase national debt to maintain a government that’s already drowning in debt, in order to fulfil their promises, with an understood endgame that, at some point, the economy hits the wall. Citizens with opposing views of the reason for such problems are boiling over, as it’s become clear that there’s no money in the till to pay for such economically suicidal policies. Yet, each year, the spending worsens and so do the economic conditions for the average citizen.
And this is true whether we see Labour, Tory, Republican, Democrat, Democrata Progresista, or Federalista del Centro in power. At some point, it would be reasonable to expect the average voter to realise that it’s not only the opposition candidate that’s a danger, it’s also his own party’s candidate and, in fact, the entire political system.
What’s interesting is that, in many countries, grumblings can be heard to this effect – that “they’re all corrupt” – yet, immediately after making such statements, the average voter returns to the support of his party’s candidate, as he is “the lesser of two evils.”
And here we see a guiding principle of party politics. Do all you can to create the image of the opposing party as literally evil. Use the media to parrot that concept, on a daily basis. By so doing, it becomes unimportant who you run for office. Your party supporters do not vote for your candidate, they vote against the opposing party’s candidate. And that makes it possible to run a rutabaga for office and still win, if you can succeed in demonising the turnip the other party is running.
In the U.S., political candidacy is practically a national sport. The presidential competition begins as soon as the previous election has ended. (Candidate Hillary Clinton began the “I might be running” charade before the sitting president had been sworn in, in 2013, for his second term.)
In addition to the candidates pouring so much time into campaigning that those who already hold public office abandon their responsibilities in order to focus on the campaign, hundreds of millions of dollars are poured into each campaign. In the current U.S. election race, we observe Mrs. Clinton, a candidate with a dark past who has been described by the majority of American voters as a liar, and as dishonest and untrustworthy – an astonishing revelation until an even more astonishing truth sinks in – that many of those who see her in that light plan to vote for her anyway, in order to stop a Republican – any Republican – from attaining office.
And the Republican side is presently led by Donald Trump, a man famous for his quick temper, boastful comments, bullying presence, and egotistical will, in addition to having a long record of causing massive bankruptcies with his business projects.
Yet, his supporters are equally rabid in their belief that he is desperately needed to counter the dreaded Mrs. Clinton.
It’s hard to imagine that two candidates could be less qualified for public office. We might be forgiven if we conclude that there is no lesser of two evils in equations such as this one. There is only disaster in a red outfit versus disaster in a blue outfit.
In 1796, the young U.S.A. chose between John Adams and Thomas Jefferson for president. Most Americans admired them both and it was a very close election. Both had been founding fathers and both contributed heavily to the cause of freedom that was so valued in the early days of the U.S.
But, in those days, the average American recognised that his freedom depended upon a small government. As Mr. Jefferson rightly stated, “A government big enough to give you everything you want is a government big enough to take away everything that you have.”
Indeed, the U.S. had come into being as a result of revolution against the government of King George of England, who had the temerity to raise the total tax level to about 2.5%.
But countries do seem always to decline over time. No matter how well-intended the original concept, no matter how productive the people, countries decline, and for the same reasons. Governments (both liberal and conservative) constantly work to grow their own power and to extract as much wealth from their people as they can manage.
As stated at the beginning of this article, “It’s an unfortunate truth that, when people are worried about the future, they often put their faith in politicians to somehow make everything better.” By doing so, they make their own destruction possible.
But what’s one person to do? “You can’t fight City Hall,” as they say. However, in most countries, the U.S. included, it’s still legal to vote with your feet – to move to a different jurisdiction that has not gone so far into decline, where the taxation is low and the level of liberty is high. In any era, there are always jurisdictions that are freer than others. The present era is no exception. In seeking a saviour, we should not put our faith in any politician or group of politicians.
If we have a saviour, he is the man in the mirror. If we are to be saved, we alone must do the research, make the plans, vote with our feet, and establish our own liberty.
Editor’s Note: The U.S. government is broke and bleeding money. Like most governments that get into financial trouble, we think American politicians will keep choosing the easy option…money printing on a massive scale.
This has tremendous implications for your financial security. These politicians are playing with fire and inviting a currency catastrophe.
Most people have no idea what really happens when a currency collapses, let alone how to prepare…
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