Monday, March 25, 2013

Economic Nightmares

There is no sustainable way to attain anything apart from being productive. Producing something is foundational to wealth and well-being. We do not live in a Star Trek world where replicators pop out whatever one wants when he or she wants it. Someone has to grow, someone has to refine, someone has to fashion everything we get. It's the only way that something can be gotten honestly (and even thievery requires effort).

In an economy where no one produces all they need on their own, what one produces has to find a need or want in what someone else doesn't produce so that exchange can fill the gaps. Markets and currency grease the wheels of this commerce. In an economy like this, reality is that if one isn't producing or hasn't produced sufficiently, that one has no means of attaining what they want or need. Without being productive, no one is in a position to have anything.

If folk live in a political environment where their needs and wants have been promised to them apart from and without regard to their productivity, it will only be a short time before that environment crashes. It is not sustainable, for wealth attained by someone other than the benefactor, and not added to by the benefactor's own production, will fritter away. Everything that people get is unbreakably tied to what they produce whether they understand the connection or not, or in fact, whether or not they are even aware of it.

When people want healthcare, or housing, or education, or any other host of things without acknowledging that they can only have such to the extent of the value they add to the mix of everyone's production, they are living in a dreamland that will eventually prove to be a disaster. Because that is so, what should be foremost on a compassionate political leader's agenda? Namely, promoting economic development that (actually) produces jobs at the broadest level possible. Once people are producing, there is room for a discussion about the distribution of the benefits of production to those that produce it, but the priority has to be getting people producing.

Throwing an evermore unsustainable stream of cash at providing benefits to non-productive people, especially while hindering economic development, can only lead to collapse or tyranny. If we keep sleeping on Main Street while that stream flows on, hoping that somehow we'll stumble into the American Dream by it, I fear the only thing we'll fumble our way into is the nightmare on Elm Street.