Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Going against Nature is for Fools

Does it seem odd to anyone that our government is so interested in discouraging saving?  How can anyone argue that savings is not the very essence of our personal security.  Our savings are the primary foundation we have to fall back on in tough times, to get us through ordeals such as what we are now facing, and of course, to build a better life. Yet, our dear leaders, have little interest in encouraging savings.

Why is saving no longer in the interest of the public good?  Simply put, the economy has been depending on consumer “overspending” for years with the government injecting stimulus at every downturn.  It is a false economy.  The consumer has been driving this engine and this dependency is not a healthy underpinning for any free market.

It hasn’t always been that way.  At one time, a very long time ago, saving was encouraged.  Saving and then investing money into one’s private business or even into the stock of other businesses helped to fund the building of products and drove job creation.  When US products could no longer compete in price with other countries, we stopped building and the economy began to rely excessively on consuming.

This didn’t happen overnight.  It took years to change laws and eliminate sound lending policies to free up the credit to fuel this monster, to keep consumption growing.  It has been a case of growth at all costs.  Leverage yourself to the hilt, take out more credit, just keep the engine going a little longer. 

Obviously, we are desperate for change, but it has now become apparent that there will be no change in economic policy.  This administration plans to keep on kicking the can down the road.  In fact, the “can” is doubling and tripling in size.  It is and has been easier to keep kicking, rather than to actually stand up and lead; to make the tough, unpopular decisions.  Eventually, all of this will settle out, this farce can only continue for so long.  Propping up unsound businesses will not work.  There was a day when a business did not make a profit, it got squeezed out.  It was economic survival of the fittest and this natural process produced the strongest and most competent businesses.  Evidently, there are many who think they can change this law of nature, but we all know that nature can not be fooled.

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