It’s Hard To Be Cynical Enough

Were governments ever working for the people? In the U.S. maybe up until the end of the Civil War. LIncoln seemed to have a purpose. After that, only Coolidge and Reagan seemed interested in something more than their own power. Trump seemed interested in the people but his style offset some of that. Still, I think his policies were sound, except for the international trade positions.

In Canada, it’s harder. There were some characters, but the the best I can say is Harper was competent, but too remote. Chretien seemed like a good man. Mulroney made some good moves. I liked him. Trudeau the elder was brilliant and persistent, but it’s hard to see the people winning with his policies. I liked John Diefenbaker for his wit. When campaigning oat a fair, the stage collapsed. Finding his microphone, he offered. “It must have been a Liberal platform.” Another time, when told he was trailing in the polls, he commented, “Dogs know what to do with poles.”

The critics have provided many thoughts

There have always been critics. I suppose that is not so hard. But many of the have been insightful. H.L. Mencken in the early part of the 20th century offered many well-worded insights and critiques. “What is any political campaign save a concerted effort to turn out a set of politicians who are admittedly bad and put in a set who are thought to be better. The former assumption, I believe is always sound; the latter is just as certainly false. For if experience teaches us anything at all it teaches us this: that a good politician, under democracy, is quite as unthinkable as an honest burglar.”

Will Rogers was amusing. “America has the best politicians money can buy”

Later P.J. O’Rourke offered some interesting thoughts., “Think what evil creeps liberals would be if their plans to enfeeble the individual, exhaust the economy, impede the rule of law, and cripple national defense were guided by a coherent ideology instead of smug ignorance. “

I had not thought of Canadian born author, Saul Bellow as offering the kill shots though, but I came on these two thoughts recently.

“Open discussion of many major public questions has for some time now been taboo. We can’t open our mouths without being denounced as racists, misogynists, supremacists, imperialists or fascists. As for the media, they stand ready to trash anyone so designated.”

and

“Take our politicians: they’re a bunch of yo-yos. The presidency is now a cross between a popularity contest and a high school debate, with an encyclopedia of clich├ęs as the first prize”

I would be amazed if more than 25% of the people who are paying attention, would agree with anything the governments are presently doing. I would be further amazed if any significant number think the politics of division, power seeking, back room ideologues operating the nominal leaders like puppets, and massive debt will work out well for us.

What can we do?

The machinery of government tends to get what it wants so long as people of a particular mind are in charge. They could be deposed over time, but given the way the media and social media behave, could you find enough people to fill the chairs who were interested in governing instead of politics. Not easy.

The first thing is to stop looking to the government as a solution to the problems. They have proven themselves uniquely inept at that sort of task. It is far easier to talk than do.

The takeaway

Government plans may derail your own plans. Stay within your income and be very cautious about the future possibilities.

Be respectful of your fellow citizens. If we all learn to cooperate maybe we can overcome the burden of governments.

Be smart. Don’t rely on what is normal today to continue. A rule of life is things that don’t work don’t last. But sometimes it takes decades.

Be a survivor. Help your children to know what works.


I help people have more retirement income and larger, more liquid estates.

Call in Canada 705-927-4770, or email don@moneyfyi.com

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