The Falling Dollar, Continued


by  Roland Stahl
December, 2011


     I am not a politician, so I claim the privilege of changing my opinions whenever I wish.  For the life of me, I cannot understand why it is held as such an essential virtue for a politician to retain an absolutely fixed and consistent view of everything.  If there is no possibility for any evolutionary growth or change, then God help us all.  I have far more respect for a politician who is able to follow an evolutionary path in the trend of his ideas and policies than for a politician who is stuck in the constipated cement of immutable dogma, built up brick by brick from his earliest public utterings.

     I have been worried about the fate of the United States government and its people for a long time now.  Of course, I have necessarily extended my concern to the entire human race, and the entire biosphere of the planet, commonly personified as Gaia, a conscious, living being.  However, the United States is the biggest elephant in the room, and it appears to be stomping around beyond all control or reason, spinning off madly into chaos while the rest of the world watches, helplessly.  Well, there is plenty of stomping around into chaos on all sides, but the American government is by far the largest loose cannon on the deck of the world ship, and consequently is liable to do the most damage.  

     The heart of the problem is that the American government is so far beyond bankrupt that it is virtually a mathematical certainty for it to fail economically.  My first article on the subject took it as granted that the only reasonable expectation was not for the government simply to declare bankruptcy, but, once no one else would take the risk of loaning it any more money, it would be forced simply to print up more and more dollars, driving the value of the dollar inexorably down and down.  

     My second article took another look at the problem and concluded that there was another option – that the United States tax the rich, whose looting of the treasury over the past 350 years has reduced the country to its present state of penury.  This is politically untenable, of course, so it is not really much of a possibility.

     But I have changed my opinion of what is to be done.  In my last article on the subject, I detailed Seven Ways to Retire the US National Debt, introducing the option of taxing the rich.  But I have reconsidered that approach in favor of a new option that I seem to have overlooked, probably because this new option is about as laughably impossible as taxing the rich.  What if the US government should stop spending so much money?  I will go out for coffee now, while everyone subsides into uncontrollable hilarity for the next twenty minutes.

     “Does a bear shit in the woods?” they used to ask.  It is not that it is even so impossible – I have already detailed a program of drastically curtailing spending – it is just that the nature of the beast is so rooted in endless, profligate spending that it is just unimaginable that there might be any way to curb the voracious appetite of this monster.  

     Still, if I am going to make any recommendations, I might as well, just for the record, suggest that the government quit spending so much money.  Just to recap how to do this: no more wars, first of all.  Free Farms instead of transfer payments.  Simplify the tax code to consist of just a land tax plus a resource depletion tax.  Eliminate about 90% of all federal jobs and bureaucracies, including the Department of “Defense.”  Put an end to the War on Drugs and other victimless crimes.  Scrap endless regulation and “busy work.”  Oh, and pay off that debt as fast as possible.  

     There aren’t enough jobs to go around anymore, but that should be good news –anyone put out of work by these policies could just go fishing, or retire to the Free Farm, and leave the rest of the economy to those who have something worthwhile to do.  

     Oh, yes – I really should address the objection that working people don’t like the idea of supporting the poor.  Why should someone spend a portion of his hard earned money to feed hungry people who don’t have money of their own?

     Well, in the spirit of Jonathan Swift’s Modest Proposal, I might suggest a simple and elegant solution: every year, perhaps on January First, July Fourth, or some other selected date, the poorest 10% of the world’s population should be painlessly euthanized.  This would not only go very far toward treating the problem of over-population, but what a stimulus to economic activity!  Suddenly, all of those loafers who thought there were simply going to be fed humanely will be galvanized into action, and the race will be on.  

     As every year’s losers are put out of their misery, the economy will start tightening up really quickly, freed up of all of that drag on the wheels of commerce.  



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