More Adages for Politics and life

By popular demand we are offering a few more thoughts on well known sayings that have application to life its ownself and the politics of 2008.   Take heed and see if they don’t resonate with some of your own reflections.

All hat and no cattle–boy does that one ever hit home during a campaign.   It is an old expression from Texas.  It obviously refers to someone who puts up the front of being something they really are not or exaggerating their own merit.  Could Mr. Obama take a cue here?  Generally  we Americans don’t like pretense.   Just talk to us straight and don’t pretend you have received some divine advice like the oracles of old.   Be who you are and you will get along better with the fellow on Main Street.  Bet you have known a few folks in your life at work, church or in the public domain who promised a lot more than they could deliver.  If you are going to wear the hat at least have the cattle to back it up.    Nothing said is better than emoting self aggrandizing puff.   The truth will out sooner or later about what you are for all to see.

First, do no harm–the old medical advice to young doctors in training.   It is a nice companion to the warning about thinking through actions to make sure the unintended consequences are not more harmful than the action taken to ease a perceived problem.   I wish the Congress would apply this one every time they are considering new legislation.  Almost all legislation does have negative consequences for someone in our society.  At at minimum there is the cost to the taxpayers to consider with each new enactment.   Does the cost justify the presumed remedy.  Remember that legislation is never that precise in an economy as large as ours and the silver bullet to deal with a specific target almost always turns out to be a shotgun blast with pellets striking far from the intended target.

Not worth the candle–an old British phrase that is as applicable today as in centuries past.  Candles were quite expensive for the ordinary folks and were the only means of lighting after sundown for  millennia.    So if you had some work to do or pleasure you wished to indulge in after dark it was always wise to ask if it was worth the candle.   If only our politicians would ask themselves that question each time they embark on sitting up a new Government agency or passing legislation to “improve” the lot of the average Joe.   Can the issue be better handled by the people themselves or better at the local level rather than from Washington?   So often they have taken on issues at the behest of special interests that certainly were not worth the candle for the taxpayers.   When the Government lights the candle, remember that it is really YOUR candle they are burning.  

You reap what you sow–farmers from the ancient past to today could verify this one for you.   It is such an obvious truism but one that is so often ignored in the day to day world.   Why do politicians think that they can pass legislation like the Community Redevelopment Act and require Fannie and Freddie to make loans to those not really credit worthy and then shout out aghast when those loans come a cropper?  The  Congress imposed these condidtions on both of them.   Check the facts for yourself.   Yes, those institutions had other problems also but making loans that were “bad” from the git go is a sure formula for failure.   Those mandated loans had failure rates off the charts compared to folks like you who had to qualify for your loan based on your earnings, net worth and ability to make a down payment.   You do realize that those mandated loans usually required virtually no down payment at all.  The buyer would be a minority who would qualify because of race or ethnicity for a grant for the down payment from a Government approved NGO.  They moved in for nothing.   Blow me over with a feather, those loans defaulted by the thousands.   What did the Congress expect to reap from what they had sown?   Good loans from hard working folks with a track record of paying their debts?   In the name of diversity they got failed institutions and I can only presume unintended consequences.  Barney Frank is still defending this type of program.   Trick me once shame on you, trick me twice shame  on me.   

Tears are the rain of the soul.  Not sure at all where that came to my mind but I love it.   Even the non religious must hope that there is an inner spirit that drives us to higher purposes and goals and softens the purely animal instincts within.   Tears are a good sign.  They mean you are alive and part of your family, community and care about someone other than yourself.

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