Our Nation’s Future

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Our nation is rapidly approaching a point from which there’s little chance to avoid a financial collapse. The heart of our problem can be seen as a tragedy of the commons. That’s a set of circumstances when something is commonly owned and individuals acting rationally in their own self-interest produce a set of results that’s inimical to everyone’s long-term interest. Let’s look at an example of the tragedy of the commons phenomenon and then apply it to our national problem.

Imagine there are 100 cattlemen all having an equal right to graze their herds on 1,000 acres of commonly owned grassland. The rational self-interested response of each cattleman is to have the largest herd that he can afford. Each cattleman pursing similar self-interests will produce results not in any of the cattlemen’s long-term interest — overgrazing, soil erosion and destruction of the land’s usefulness. Even if they all recognize the dangers, does it pay for any one cattleman to cut the size of his herd? The short answer is no because he would bear the cost of having a smaller herd while the other cattlemen gain at his expense. In the long term, they all lose because the land will be overgrazed and made useless.

We can think of the federal budget as a commons to which each of our 535 congressmen and the president have access. Like the cattlemen, each congressman and the president want to get as much out of the federal budget as possible for their constituents. Political success depends upon “bringing home the bacon.” Spending is popular, but taxes to finance the spending are not. The tendency is for spending to rise and its financing to be concealed through borrowing and inflation.

Does it pay for an individual congressman to say, “This spending is unconstitutional and ruining our nation, and I’ll have no part of it; I will refuse a $500 million federal grant to my congressional district”? The answer is no because he would gain little or nothing, plus the federal budget wouldn’t be reduced by $500 million.

Other congressmen would benefit by having $500 million more for their districts.

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  • H&R_ Barack

    "Section 8 housing subsidies, – Medicaid, and other support programs has been to create a permanent welfare class which, in terms of skills and attitudes, is poorly equipped to return to work. Not only that, the children of welfare moms are nurtured in a mentality that perpetuates dependency from generation to generation. And liberal politicians are in no hurry to end this dependency since the system of welfare patronage serves their interests." http://www.americanthinker.com/2011/02/the_welfar… ~ American Thinker

    Currently, only half (50%) of Americans pay income taxes. Yet every non-criminal citizen can vote for spending programs.

    Democrats have a vested interest in open borders, voter fraud, as well as expanding the numbers of persons on government welfare.

    Why should Obama wish to create more jobs when it is welfare recipients who are his greatest fans?

    A 340lb Obama Voter 'attacked store workers with pepper spray' as she 'tried to steal beer, bacon, cheese and chicken wings from Piggly Wiggly' –

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2150243/3… – UK Mail OnLine

    ……Stevie Wonder back ground music …. "Isn't She Lovely"……(fade out)……

    • StephenD

      H.R., you said:

      “Currently, only half (50%) of Americans pay income taxes. Yet every non-criminal citizen can vote for spending programs.”

      You’re right of course. This is why I advocate for the “Privilege” to vote be limited to those that pay taxes. If you do not pay into the system, you should have no say in how the money is spent. That doesn’t fault you (Some folks through no choice are unable to be in a position to contribute), it merely says that you cannot have sway in hoe other people’s money is spent. I can’t come into your home and tell you how to spend the household funds…unless I paid into it correct? This is what I’m talking about. You’d see an IMMEDIATE turn around in approach of all of Congress. My bet is when they have to pay attention to only those that pay the bills they will tend to be more cautious with our money.

      • JohnnyV

        I’d take it a step further and disenfranchise anybody that gets any money from government jobs. That would include teachers, postal workers, administrators, and even paid politicians. I don’t know about private contractors; I’ll have to think about that for a while and get input from other people on that.

        • Jim_C

          What about military?

      • Jim_C

        I'd be tempted to say we're already there. Our voter turnout is typically pretty abysmal.

        As to your proposal–hell, why not? It's basically the same as my idea to charge a modicum of tuition even for public schools. Even if it were simply a tactic designed to wake people up.

  • H&R_ Barack

    Today, if you want to understand Occupy Wall Street, look at Greece.

    More than 80,000 leftists took to the streets in Athens. As is usual for all Occupy movements, confrontations with the police are essential. The purpose, as usual, is violent confrontation in the hopes that excessive force can be exploited for propaganda purposes. Recently events show us can how far they are willing to go in Athens.

    Greece: OWS on Steroids – http://www.americanthinker.com/printpage/?url=htt… ~ American Thinker

    Socialism as a disease progresses slowly, but it has been underway for more than a hundred years. The malignancy is now metastasizing.

    Read more: http://www.americanthinker.com/2012/01/the_social

  • crackerjack

    After the Lehman desaster an the failiure to install any form of legislation to curb its virulent financial mafia, its high time the industrialised europeans start cutting economic ties with the USA an installing financial firewalls against theWall Street casino of crooks.

  • http://www.resonoelusono.com/NaturalBornCitizen.htm Alexander Gofen

    Our Constitution was made only for moral and religious people of the Judeo-Christian faith, living on an isolated continent.

    It is wholly inadequate to the government and people of any other faith. It is wholly inadequate under conditions of a wide openness to hostile ideologies and people carrying them.

    (The 2011 update of John Adams)
    http://www.resonoelusono.com/2008vs1917.htm
    http://www.resonoelusono.com/Platform.htm