Tuesday, March 03, 2009
The Hair of the Stimulus Dog. Over the past month I find myself responding with this time-worn phrase, regarding the economy and Democrat’s stimulus package. The words are accompanied by staring down at the floor while shaking my head, as if the next thing to do is to make sure my ‘affairs’ are in order. Suffice to say that America’s future is not looking too bright, in my view.
So why the ‘hair of the dog’? It goes that the best short-term treatment for a hangover is to take another drink, even though this does nothing but stall the inevitable alcohol withdrawal symptoms. Yet stall is what we do when elected officials and voters don’t want to face the real issues. Indeed, if one could drink away the rest of their life, without greater penalty, this might be a viable response. But we know with alcohol, as with this economy, this is simply not possible.
Printing or borrowing money and mainlining it into the veins of Americans is no more a real solution than is tossing down a Bloody Mary at day break. Regardless of whether this consumption jump-start is through stimulus tax cuts, or pork-laden infrastructure spending, it’s all the same – the hair of the dog. Taxpayers are not any smarter with their dollars than the politicians they elect. And let’s not be confused that John McCain and his inclination for the Feds to buy up, and thus shore-up, the market for home mortgages was just as ill-conceived as anything the Dems and Obama are pushing - different looking dog, same hair.
What no one is saying, starting and ending with President Obama, is that what America really needs is a 12-step program to stop drinking. Our country’s entire philosophy of consumption, and the mechanism that delivers its false promise, needs to be taken out back and put down. We are over-housed, over-fed, over stimulated, and over coddled. Our people under-contribute to a shallow and material way of life we errantly have come to believe to be a birthright, rather than a sentence.
Until we in this country undertake educating ourselves to make stuff that billions of Asians (including Indians) want and need to make their lives better, we are hanging by the rim of one long continuous flush. Lasting confidence will only grow when our deficits grow smaller and GDP larger. This is the way of competitive progress. When designed, made, and/or assembled in America means value to us and the rest of the world, the result will again be a true basis for an American dream, rather than the current nightmare bearing down upon us like a runaway train.
James C. Collier
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