As the next Presidential election nears, optimism regarding candidates and political parties ebbs and flows. Voters like to believe their candidate sees the problems and will fix them. This fundamental belief drives voting. But what if it isn’t true? What if government ain’t fixable? Or can’t be changed? What then?
Government Ain’t Fixable and People Are Sensing It
The public increasingly recognizes that the opportunity to choose between two candidates is not working very well. The election process allows for a peaceful transfer of power but if the only change is in the the names and placeholders that media refer to as “leaders” But government continues to grow, become more expensive, more intrusive, less responsive and more burdensome. That is the way of government in this country for the half century I have been paying attention.
The quadrennial event that is the Presidential election cycle is akin to Charlie Brown, Lucy and the football. Voters play the role of the hapless Charlie Brown. Lucy represents the political class and the football plays the role of campaign promises. The football is never kicked, altered or used. Yet hapless Charlie falls for the promise again and again.
This election seems different. The public is beginning to understand the game. Some are rebelling. How else does one explain the popularity of Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders? H. L. Mencken’s wisdom regarding democracy, politics and politicians is gaining followers. Mencken’s litany of disgust is too prolific to deal with other than to suggest that the public may be realizing that:
Every election is a sort of advance auction sale of stolen goods.
Increasing numbers understand this observation and that they are the victims in the game.
Government is too large and entrenched to be changed by elections. The political establishment considers themselves to be privileged and pretends to like and tolerate citizens. The truth is that the citizenry are nothing more than a commodity to the rulers. Their votes and pocketbooks are mined so that political lifestyles can be continued.
This reality is becoming apparent to more and more citizens who recognize the government as Lucy and themselves as Charlie Brown. The football is always promised but never delivered. The story of this election is the number of people dissatisfied with Lucy and her behavior. In a sense this election is beginning to look like a protest similar to the Boston Harbor tea party. It is likely a precedent that will not directly change anything, although the retrospective of history may recognize it as the first shot fired in the coming rebellion against oppressive government.
Government Will Correct
No one can fix government. Even if Donald Trump or Hillary/Bern were the best managers in the world, they could only have a marginal impact even if they were inclined.
Government is too far gone and too deeply entrenched. It is a gigantic blob immune to common sense, cost control or the will of the citizens it pretends to serve. People are expected to serve it, a complete contradiction of the stated goal of the Founders. It grows and enriches itself (and its members) simply because it can. It is no different from an unaccountable criminal enterprise, exempting itself from laws it imposes on others. In point of fact, it is less efficient than organized crime which must generate a profit under less than ideal circumstances. Most Mafia-run businesses provide a service or value to their customers in excess of what it costs. Government has no need to do so and is especially ineffective and inefficient.
Government is Leviathan. It looks out for itself and no one person or small group can alter that condition. Government will correct, but not willingly. Today it is at the point where the plant from Little Shop of Horrors was in this clip:
The conflicted Seymour represents the citizens of this country, subject to increasing demands and monetary contributions. Both the plant and the government demand contributions while provide little service or benefits in return. Government is as addicted to more every bit as much as the demanding plant. It knows no other way other than to spend to continue its scam.
Government ain’t fixable but it will correct because there are limits to what people and economies will bear. Government is out of money and hopelessly indebted. Yet it continues to spend as if it had the money. It has seriously wounded the host on which it parasitically survives. The golden goose no longer can shake off the effects of the government burden. The economy is stagnant. Confiscatory taxation and regulatory burdens prevent private capital formation. Without capital, standard of living and employment stagnate. The economy will continue to deteriorate and people will continue to become poorer until the system collapses of its own weight or the people revolt. Either represents a cataclysmic event!
For a time monetary printing can disguise the deterioration. States and municipalities are unable to print money. Their unnecessary and wasteful schemes are surfacing. Puerto Rico demands a bailout. So will Illinois and dozens of other governmental entities. California is driving its productive class away. That is also happening at the Federal level where both people and companies are voting with their feet. The renouncement of US citizenship is exploding as is the relocation of corporate headquarters out of this country.
Government as we know it is doomed. It will not recognize this reality until markets and/or citizens force it. This time is likely close and the process will not be painless. The more government ignores what is inevitable the greater the pain will be. One hopes that civilization does not enter an economic and anarchical Dark Ages. To the extent that government refuses to respond to the fantasy world they have created, the more likely that is to be the outcome.
While many still think their vote matters, others are beginning to recognize the futility of voting.
Government is Bad at Almost Everything
Everyone has heard more than their share of stories about government inefficiency and stupidity. It is difficult to point to any government agency run effectively or achieving the ends for which it was created. The War on Poverty has increased poverty. The Department of Education was formed at the peak of educational effectiveness and everything has gone downhill since. What does the Department of Energy do besides make it more difficult to achieve more energy? The Internal Revenue Service has become a political tool to hammer opponents who do not hold the presidency. Hasn’t the Veteran’s Administration done a wonderful job for the medical care of our veterans? ObamaCare has driven health-care costs through the roof and put a damper on the creation of jobs like nothing else.
And now this inefficiency seems to be reaching new heights in the TSA, the agency that fails miserably on routine tests to find contraband and other items prohibited. Now we are told that this agency is going to impose the loss of millions of hours of wait time because it cannot do its job properly. The following video shows what is coming:
All the money being spent on preventing terrorism has not stopped one terrorist act at an airport. If you are a traveler, you are more likely to become a terrorist as a result of treatment by your own government than to be protected from terrorism.