Why Is Politics So Important?

“Politics is the moat, the walls, beyond which lie the barbarians. Fail to keep them at bay, and everything burns.”
Charles Krauthammer, Things That Matter: Three Decades of Passions, Pastimes, and Politics

politics

I hate politics. The lies. The distortions of truth. The quest for power. These are all things I find disgusting.

I believe most people hate politics. Its why more and more are tuning out to focus upon what they percieve to be more important matters in order to make their own lives better.  Then there is the whole slew of people who know nothing at all about politics.  When you add to this that the media no longer acts in its traditional role of watchdog to the powerful, the political class has become so corrupted that the demarcation line defining corruption is way behind them.

A friend of mine ran for a Senate seat a few years ago. He came to the shocking conclusion that only a small fraction of the voting public knows anything about the issues. His paid political consultants told him that only 10% of his constituents would know anything about politics… or take the time to learn his political philosophy. Although initially incredulous of this fact, after a year of campaigning he was certain of its accuracy.

If only 10% of the general public knows little is anything about political issues and where candidates stand on them, then it explains the brazenness of the Obama Administration in its unscrupulous lying in forcing the passage of legislation in support of its agenda of choice.  In the past it has been government’s job, of sorts, to bring the majority of the public on board in order to get bills passed. But, when only 10% of the people can understand what is going on, it makes sense that politicians became emboldened in their thievery.  While the press formerly acted as the independent oversight of such thievery, we live in a day and age where the media class has aligned with the government class at the expense of the rest of us.

Through agenda-based educational policies, our country has lost the most basic understanding of civics. Jay Leno was famous for his “man on the street interviews” on the Tonight Show. Leno exposed the public’s woeful ignorance of some of the most basic issues of the day. Other comedians and Libertarians have followed suit with this format in the hope that it will wake up the American public to how pitifully ignorant we have become. In this recent video, Mark Dice questioned random adults on the street about the meaning of Memorial Day and comes to the sad conclusion that the majority know absolutely know nothing about the holiday. If you think this video is an abnormality, Dice has a plethora of others just like this one showing the complete loss of basic civic knowledge.

As a child, my father actively pushed me to know and understand  the history of the country. I spent many nights around the dinner table discussing the politics of the day, the implications of tax policy, as well as military history. In addition, the Marine Corps gave me a broader sense of the role of the United States in the world. I am one of the lucky ones who had parents that at least made the effort to pass this vital knowledge on to me.

So it begs the question: Why is politics so important?

The reality is that if you can get the politics right many, if not all, good things will flow from it. Get it wrong and the collapse of a culture ensues. Doubt me? Just take a look at recent history:

This isn’t ancient history. The totality of these deaths happened within in the last 100 years.  Each of these countries  suffered massive devastation because they got the politics wrong.  Each had people in power who followed the wrong ideologies resulting in millions of lives being deliberately exterminated.

Currently, we have a woefully ignorant populace combined with a Progressive Left that thinks that the source of good flows from government. Ills and ailments can be fixed by , regulations, laws and executive orders.  Clearly since 2008, the Democrats, and most Republicans, have neither an allegiance to the Constitution nor faith in the self-correcting mechanism of free market capitalism. Obama has added 20,642 new regulations to the Federal Register. The police, regulators, tax enforcers now have over 20,000 new reasons to fine, tax, regulate and or harass the general public. For the life of me, I can not understand how so many can still say that Obama is a good president when he has instituted and implemented so many new ways in which to control and regulate us.

This belief in government’s ability to elevate peoples’ lives has spawned and sustains the campaign of Bernie Sanders. I have no patience for his nonsense. In my lifetime, I have seen first hand the destruction Socialism can bring in my second home of Ecuador and Venezuela.

I started traveling to Venezuela prior to Hugo Chavez taking power and continued thereafter. (As a side note, I stopped going to Venezuela when a banking associate in my profession was kidnapped circa 2009). Before Chavez came to power, the country was thriving with a stable economy and a large, growing middle class.  Once Chavez came to power in 1999, he nationalized all of the major industries, including oil, and took control of the press. Although Chavez died in 2013, his political legacy and movement remains.

The results of Socialism in Venezuela after only 15 years?

Today Venezuela suffers food shortages, starvation, hospital closings and riots in the street. Electricity is rationed and the country is on the verge of collapse. There is no need to vote for Bernie Sanders because if it is Socialism you want, Venezuela is a short plane ride away. There are likely plenty of people who would be delighted, and relieved, to sell you their home.

Ideas have consequences. Following the wrong ones can result in disastrous results. Government’s natural state of being is not containment but growth – by growth it seeks and attains more power.  Given the virtually non-existent awareness by the general populace of political issues or even the political process, Progressives have been unopposed in successfully attaining more and more power.

History, even recent history, proves this does not end well.

Steve

sleeclark@hotmail.com

Let’s Go Into Business

I want to be your partner. Here’s the deal.

You put up all the capital and I put in nothing. You provide all the labor and I provide nothing. I will tell you the minimum wage you can pay your employees. From the wages they earn, I will collect a percentage.moneylink

You will have to comply with the edicts I make on all aspects of our business from 1) the types of products you can sell; 2) the materials that are to be used and, 3) how to dispose of the waste.  I have laws and regulations that you will need to follow covering everything from plumbing to lighting and more.

Every year you will pay me a percentage of your sales regardless of whether you make money or not. If you don’t pay me I will fine you and, if necessary have the authority to imprison you. From time to time, I have the right to raise or lower the amount you have to pay me.

Should you leave or sell the business, I automatically become the partner to whomever you sell the business. If we are successful and sell the business at a profit, I will charge you a fee (call it a capital gain fee) on the price of the sale. Sound fair? Ready to deal? If you already own a business you know who I am.

I’m Uncle Sam.

Sound ludicrous, doesn’t it? And people wonder why we have close to 100 million people out of the labor force.

Bernie Sanders is leading the charge to solve this malaise by offering more “free stuff.”  How does he plan to get and pay for it all? He’s telling you the answer in advance: from his business partners, of course, who are going to be less than delighted to fork even more of their money to their partner (a/k/a the Federal Government by way of the IRS).

The fact is that neither candidate on the Democrat Party sounds as if he/she truly understands how business works; therefore, they continue to ask for more and more money from private business owners.

Currently,  the U.S. has the highest corporate tax rate in the world. Because of this, the largest and smartest companies shield their revenues and assets from the U.S government by creating offshore entities. They then book their revenues through these stand alone enterprises. Such  maneuvering shields them from having to pay U.S. taxes. So, the tax burden then gets shouldered by smaller and smaller enterprises who are unable to get the same treatment, or concoct the same schemes with government acquiescence, that larger companies can.

It is easy for a multinational corporation such as Google to move much of its revenues off shore since much of their transactions are global. But the local restaurant, whose customers are within a 100 mile radius of their location, are unable to do the same. The IRS would never allow a local entity to park its assets offshore.

So, the freebies that Bernie Sanders plans to give away will come from this already overburdened business class.

It is easy to see by the demands and promises that Bernie Sanders is making that he has no real understanding of, or connection to, the business community and the Herculean efforts small business owners make to succeed at their ventures. This disconnect between big government and the small business owner, and the adverse effects it has on the nation as a whole, can be understood by an example within the medical field.

When I was younger and played sports, I had many injuries that required extensive physical therapy. I had several shoulder injuries as a result of many years on Aikido mats. This happened because when I threw my opponents to the ground, I failed to connect my torso to my shoulders. As a result, my shoulder would become stressed. Instead of moving in unison with my torso, the shoulder moved separately and bore the entire stress.

When I then needed physical therapy, I encountered physically healthy people who had been recommended to physical therapy by their mental health practitioners. They were directed to physical therapy in order to connect the body back with the mind. Most of these were white collar professionals who had long stopped using their body properly and suffered mental issues. The physical therapy was a way to connect the body back with the mind.

This whole notion of working the (literal and figurative) body and mind together for matters of wellness and wholeness applies to everything we do…from physical injury to business to politics: the same principles apply.

The Democrat candidates for President are promising more free stuff without any idea of who pays for it. This disconnect is causing turmoil and sickness to the body politic. Over the last few weeks, there has been increasing aggression at political events and agitation by the citizenry over fear and confusion for the country’s political and economic future. The business class is upset due to its declining margins as well as the demands of the political class for more and more money. Instead of working together to grow a larger economy where all can benefit, business owners know that the proposals from Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton will, to the contrary, kill their businesses once and for all.

Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton need more of a connection to small business owners and the realities of operating a profitable enterprise. If they had that connection, they’d never be touting more free stuff. Then again, if the didn’t tout more free stuff they’d never be the top two candidates for the Democrat Party’s nominee.

Now there’s logic and a very good reason to vote Republican… if case you need one.

Steve

sleeclark@gmail.com