I was reading an article about the financial collapse that we are all still hoping to recover from. The author was trying to put some historical perspective to the discussion in order to promote the argument that economics is not a science, as it is now considered, but instead an art. He goes on to explain that the economists, with all their formulas and theories, were as surprised by our financial meltdown as the average Joe. They are now scrambling to gain new clues to economic movement by looking to psychologists, sociologists, and neuroscientists.
I don’t think that it’s an art or a science. More like a shell game, I would think. How can you predict which way the wind will blow? The wind has as much substance as our currency has. In 1971 President Nixon took us completely off of the gold standard and converted our exchange to fiat currency. Fiat currency, according to Webster (no, not Martell, you Blazer fans), “any paper currency issued by a government as legal tender, which is not convertible to coin.” Our money is worth the paper it is printed on. It is only useful as long as a government is willing to accept it as payment, and it is subject to whatever market forces are at play at any given moment.
Right now our money is worth what China says it is worth. Our government has basically sold our country to the highest bidders. In the Bible it advises us that the borrower is slave to the lender. Our debt is so great at this moment that we are likely going to lose our AAA credit rating with the world (WHAT!) bank and we will never even be able to keep up with the higher interest, let alone ever get out from under the thumb of one of the most brutal and restrictive regimes on the face of the earth. How can we lead the world if they all hold our markers and can call them in at any time?
It would seem that as our world has shrunk through the technology of communication and travel our safeguards and checks and balances have shrunk as well and a bug in the system becomes like a needle in a haystack. Human error is something that will never go away, and the more complicated we make our systems, the greater chance that human error will be magnified before it can be caught and corrected.
Honesty is the cure. Honest leaders choosing honest men and women who understand that lies and hidden truths are what are tearing our system apart. Power corrupts; we need to find a way to repair our system of check and double-check so that we can get back to doing what makes sense instead of changing just to change and then dealing with the fallout later. I am reminded of Nancy Pelosi’s admonition, “We have to pass this bill so that we can all see what’s in it.” This is the kind of leader we need in these crucial times? I don’t see it. Let’s get some people into office who can do their job and bring us clear, simple legislation that moves our great country forward.