Adages for Politicians to heed

Some of the old bromides have real use even in our sophisticated world.   After all they became popular and endured over the ages because there was some deep seated truth to the comment, otherwise they would have wilted on the vine of time.  Let’s look at a few of those sayings that have endured and apply them to our politics and politicians of this election cycle.

Measure twice, cut once–an old saying from the carpenters of the world.  It has great application for anyone, anytime.   The idea is straightforward–think and plan your actions.  The carpenter knows that you need to make sure your mearsurements are correct before you take to the saw.  If you miss the right measurement and the board is too short then you have a useless piece of wood.    Therefore make sure of your goal and end result before you embark on any enterprise.    Think it through, then once again.   That extra measure will sure prevent aggravation later on.   It is a good lesson for life and politics.

Neither a borrower or lender be–our good friend Ben Franklin made that popular but he took it from Proverbs.  Still sound advice that as endured for millennia.  It applies very aptly to our current economic situation and the proclivity of our government for a couple of decades now.  Both Democrat and Republican parties have allowed us to be borrowers on a gigantic scale.  We have run deficients for years.  Even under Clinton that everyone thinks had a balanced budget, the facts are we were not funding the Social Security and Medicare burdens to come.  We used the money from those collections to run the day to day operations of the Government.  Check it out.  That is a fact.  When the Government took money from the Social Security fund it simply gave the fund an IOU!  That is like you promising to pay yourself a million dollars.    Our foreign aid money is merely lending in disguise with no prospects of ever being repaid.   That doesn’t even begin to cover our obligations with the IMF and other world lending agencies.  Some argue that credit is the oil for the economic engine of the US and the world, but I take the position that it is the monkey wrench in the works.  Credit should always be kept to the absolute minimum.   We have become addicted to it.  Just look at the credit card debt of our people today.  That is not healthy for the individuals or our society.

Reinforce success–from our military friends.  It is good advice for all of us.  When we find that groove and are humming, we should go at it hard.   A current political topic that you can relate this to is the issue of drilling for more oil in the States, offshore and in Alaska.   The Republicans have hit a nerve with the man in the street on it and should hammer it every day in every appearance.   The ordinary Joe doesn’t give a hoot about Polar bears when gas is $4.00 and the people have the common sense to realize that those hundreds of billions sent each year to Arab nations could be spent right here at home and produce thousands of good paying jobs for Americans without tax payer money eing spent and that energy independence is a vital concern to the health of our nation.  Those monies spent with American companies will be spent by American companies and their employees and shareholders  in America.  Where does the money go that we hand over to the Arabs?  Not necessarily here.  You make up your own mind about it, but the point here is that it is a “success” and we’ll see if the Republicans reinforce it as the doctrine dictates.  Even T. Boone Pickens has stated repeatedly to drill, drill, drill.  Driling after all is the only way to get natural gas which by the way is a fossil fuel.  Thought we would give that little geology lesson to Ms. Pelosi.

A penny saved is a penny earned–a truism if ever there was one.  Politicians in particular should follow this advice from the ages.   They all seem to forget that there are two sides to ever balance sheet.   That when income diminshes or costs rise too much,  you can cut expenses.  You don’t HAVE to increase revenues (taxes) necessarily or borrow money.  (See above about borrowing).   How many Government agencies are in fact worthless?   Take OSHA for an example.  Do you really think we need thousands of Federal employees to insure safe work envoirnments?  Trust me there are plenty of John Edwards out there that love suing companies that cause harm due to unsafe or negligent work places or practices.  Those plaintiff’s lawyers are chomping at the bit.  Industry has plenty of incentive to protect its employees already and the employees  have remedies available.  Does OSHA truly add anything except a more swollen Federal payroll?   You could make your own list of useless Government spending and it would be right.  How many farmers need a County Agent anymore from the Department of Agriculture?  Other than some record keeping and research what does that department do that helps you with your daily life.

Don’t let the tail wag the dog–this is very applicable to the special interests groups where so often the small bloc exerts such great influence on our laws and policies.    Our tax code is bulging with little goodies for all stripes of interests groups as are our other laws.  They overwhelm.   This evil of a small group dominating policy and political outcomes cuts across party lines.  Unions, business groups and yes, those NGO’s are constantly seeking special tax breaks, grants or favors from the government.   The charities are as bad as any of them.  The farmers with their subsidies and the industries with their requests for trade barriers and unions with their demands to increase their membership all feed at the trough and the result is that some minority with political clout wags all the rest of us.   We can’t eliminate lobbying because it is fair for anyone to speak their mind and make their wishes known, but we can hold the politicians accountable for every favor  they hand out to those “tails” that we all end up paying for.   We, the people are the dog and those unions, etc. should get no more  special treatment than the average working bloke.

How about that Hadron  accelerator in Europe?  It is huge, 17 miles in circumference.  It is close to completion now and the experiments will be starting soon.  These are the ventures we should continue to pursue.  One breakthrough and our disagreements over energy policy could become passe in a generation.  Just as the stem cell debate is fading due to scientific advancement that is making it irrelevant, a breakthrough on the fusion front could transform  our energy supplies.  Fusion remember doesn’t have the waste problem of the fission process we have been using for decades.  Fusion could produce electricity in prodigess  amounts.  Let’s all wish them luck with the research.

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Filed under Economics, government, history, Politics

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