I try to stay away from politics as much as possible. Nevertheless, presidential election cycles give me so much fodder for this blog I end up occasionally getting sucked into the realm of politics. One of the things I have begun to realize about the political view of the world is the huge impact it has upon my perspective regarding other parts of life. Folks caught up in politics seem to have little to no ability to realistically see what goes on in the rest of the world. Everything comes to revolve around politics, the next election and the next anticipated piece of legislation that is going to make things right. When those things are accomplished a fresh set of new things that need to be fixed by career politicians arrive on the horizon and the process starts all over again. Meanwhile a lot of life has gone by unnoticed. Let's consider that for a moment today.
Real (inflation adjusted) gross domestic product in the Socialist Democracy of Amerika has gone from 2.84 trillion dollars on the day I was born to 16.5 trillion dollars today. That is a real increase of almost six times. Do you have any idea what that means? There is almost six times more wealth, capital and sheer stuff in the world today compared to when I was born. That is amazing. Everyone today is rich, including the victim class that calls itself poor, when compared to what it was like to live in 1957, the year I was born.
I grew up with three brothers in a three bedroom home that was smaller than my garage is today. We raised fruits and vegetables in the backyard garden to supplement our food supply. We, or more accurately my mom, washed clothes in a tub and wrung them out with an old-fashioned wringer. I still remember watching her put the clothes through that thing, wondering what it would feel like to get my fingers caught in it. The clothes were dried, of course, on the clothesline in the backyard. We were solidly middle class and we had one car and, at first, no garage. There were no microwave ovens and one black and white television that we would gather around in the evening to watch. We had one telephone with a party line. A party line, for those of you who do not know, is a phone line shared by several families. If I picked up the phone I might not get a dial tone because one of the other families was on the line at the time. The polite thing to do was hang up and try again later. And you know what? We were happy and we felt quite rich.
When I was born my life expectancy was 66 years. Today it is over 78 years. Where did those extra twelve years come from? Did some career politician or bureaucrat pass legislation creating them for me? I don't think so. They are the result of profit seeking businessmen constantly searching for better ways to serve me, the consumer of health care goods and services. Thanks fellas, I appreciate it. And as for you career politicians, thanks for nothing. Life expectancy for all the citizens of the world is 71 years today, compared to 50 years in 1957. How did that happen? Was that the result of political action? Hardly.
When I went to government school as I child I was instructed to hide under my desk when the nuclear bombs started exploding. We actually had drills showing us how to do so. Being a trusting sort of child I believed my desk would protect me from atomic bombs so I dutifully did as I was instructed. As you have probably guessed, Russia never invaded and the country in which I was living did not turn communist until several years later when Lyndon Johnson created the Great Society. Who would have thunk it? The communists won without ever firing a shot. Today the communists have embraced the free market and are getting rich while the SDA has embraced full fledged socialism and still, somehow, continues to grow. What a strange irony it all is.
There are two classes of people in the world. One class produces things and the other uses coercion to take the things that have been produced and move them between various groups that have political privilege. Everything that we have today is a byproduct of the productive class. The enormous growth in wealth, the amazing progress in longevity and the fact that SDA citizens live better than royalty did a scant couple of centuries ago all give testimony to the powerful force that is the free market. If government were to do only what it is morally allowed to do, namely protect my right to my life, my freedom and my property, we would all be even richer than we are. But that is not the way things work under socialism.
Socialism needs to create a reason for government intervention. In a free market there is no need for government intervention as each participant gets exactly what he deserves, based upon his participation in the system and his relative skill and ability to serve others. Government does have a part to play in the free market as it adjudicates the disputes between the various participants within the free market when they believe their lives, freedom or property have been violated. Other than that, government has nothing to do. So what does government do to justify its intrusion into our lives? It creates victim classes.
Victim classes are groups of people the career politicians pander to in order to continue to be career politicians. They exploit the sinful envy of the citizens of this land and, in combination with a carefully orchestrated campaign of propaganda, they convince the victim classes that they are being harmed by the productive members of the free market as they simply go about their business. Hence, the rich become evil and profit seeking corporations are demonized. What to do with rich and demonic people? Bring in the government protectors!
Bernie Sanders is a perfect example of this sort of thing. He sees the amazing wealth created by the free market over the past 60 years and declares it to be evil. All he can see is that the wealth is generally concentrated in the hands of those who created it. He believes that economic reality is a product of crony-capitalists and their government partners who have conspired to steal the wealth that he believes somehow just magically and spontaneously appeared in the economy. Bernie can observe a profit seeking business operating in the free market, think Apple or Google here, and have nothing but contempt for what he sees. He is incapable of seeing the good that is being done. Despite casting himself as a "progressive," he is incapable of seeing the progress that is being made. In his eyes those two companies are exploiting the poor and need to be brought down by government action. Sadly, he shares his eyes with many covetous and envy-filled people in this sinful country. I know, Bernie won Colorado two days ago. I am surrounded by these hateful people.
If you have been caught up in the political world-view you are, no doubt, filled with erroneous views about the nature of reality. You are quite possibly very angry and have come to believe that everything and everyone except your anointed politician is against you. You are wrong. Things are not anything like you believe them to be. Things are much better than you have ever thought possible. You just don't have the eyes to see how good things are. Like the free-trade protesters in Seattle who organized their protests against the WTO on their Apple computers and like Donald Trump who used his I-Phone to send a message to Apple telling the CEO he is evil for not knuckling under to the FBI, career politicians and the politically involved are blind to the myriad beauties and joys of life in today's world brought to them by the free market. In a way I feel sorry for them. In another way I despise them. Mostly I despise them. But there I go again, getting sucked into the political arena. What a nasty and dirty place it is.