Politics, Economics … and Diogenes of Sinope

DiogenesUS government is the top job killer. The link will explain; the short version is that a businessman will try to maximize profits but an intervening government will instead, try to buy votes. Businessfolk are economic creatures; governments are political creatures. Therefore, their motives differ. The different motives produce different results.It’s pretty simple; business has a profit motive, government doesn’t.

That allows politicians to decry capitalism, claiming that profits are evil because chasing them leads employers to do such evil things as layoffs and low wages that won’t support families. As there are more workers than employers, politicians buy votes with minimum wages, overtime rules and such. (Other people’s money, that is.)

Employers just raise prices to cover the cost increase until competition from places with cheaper labor prevent that; then they replace workers with machines, move to the cheaper places or go out of business. It’s still pretty simple, but as schools no longer teach students such things and more people are workers while fewer remain farmers or tradesmen, a lot of voters just don’t notice. They notice larger paychecks for the same work and just grumble when those larger paychecks somehow don[t buy any more than before without bothering to understand why that occurs.The economics are pretty simple but politicians have assured that so are the voters, or at least most of them.

The most clarifying aspect of all this is the obvious strong profit motive retained by the politicians for their own accounts. Congress is a millionaire’s club and we will be most pleased to be told of any successful politician who did not end his career with much more wealth than when it started. Politics has not only become a career path but a lucrative one.For those with inquiring minds, that’s a clue.

We suppose that most at least suspect these facts to exist, but are able to lie to themselves in the misguided expectation of something in it for them. You can’t, as the saying goes, cheat an honest man.

We are slow learners, too: Old Greek Diogenes, who was said to live in a barrel and to go about with a lamp, looking for an honest man, was a philosopher. He was called Diogenes the Cynic. Nothing we are discussing would surprise him in the least and he was born  over 400 years BC. Little in the area under discussion has changed since.

There is another clue that stares us in the face but which we somehow are unable to see: Both Left, that promises to rob the rich to buy us and the Right that warms against that are the same in that, both plan to use government power on our behalf to fulfill their nostrums. In that, they agree. And that is the sellout. Government has nothing but power; it cannot spend what it has not first taken from private producers. All government is a leech upon any economy.

Old Diogenes of Sinope knew that in 400 BC. America’s Founders knew it in 1776 and 1893. That is why they left us a very underfunded and limited federal government. But we have listened to the Siren call of politicians wishing to bribe us with our own money, and thereby created the Obama Administration and its successors. And in the ultimate existential joke, we complain of what we have made, right?

Somewhere, Diogenes sits with his lamp, laughing.





About Jack Curtis

Suspicious of government, doubtful of economics, fond of figure skating (but the off-ice part, not so much) Couple of degrees in government, a few medals in figure skating; just reading and suspicion for economics ...
This entry was posted in Ecnomics, Government, Politics, Uncategorized and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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