Politics And Noticing What’s Happening

“When I see a headline about the war, I’ll remember that war is a useful distraction from the corruption in the world.”  –  Scott C Dunn

If you live in the Ukraine, Russia, or even Europe, how do you feel about being a distraction. There are people in the United States who believe there should be a war with Russia. I would like to hear why that makes sense, but it is true nonetheless. They may have initiated the current problem. How sick is that if true?

Do you think the people could be manipulated further with the COVID material. They quit believing, so pack it up and move on. A war would be a nice program filler.

War is a good distraction 

The essence of politics is to talk about unsolved problems and blame others for their existence. When you cannot blame easily, hide them. Today’s reality is the puppeteers are pretending to lead us while they present us with shiny objects to keep us from noticing the old, dusty problems they have largely authored and studiously ignored..

  1. Do you think COVID has disappeared?
  2. Do think another, maybe more serious virus, cannot exist?
  3. Do you think anyone is preparing for that possibility?
  4. Do they have a rational emergency protocol that address the problem rather than enhancing their power?
  5. Do you think the southern border of the US is now secure?
  6. Do you think homelessness in San Francisco, Los Angeles and many other cities has been cured?
  7. Do you think the “rule of law” prevails?
  8. Has violent crime diminished?
  9. Has any crime diminished?
  10. Do you think elections are provably honest?
  11. Do you think Joe Biden is capable, at least as capable as Kamala Harris? Not a high standard.
  12. Do you think hard drug abuse is gradually improving
  13. Do you think inflation will go away on its own?
  14. Do you think the supply-chain problem was created by anything other than inept rules and protocols?
  15. Do you think employment opportunities will improve for young people?
  16. Do you think there is a rational energy policy?
  17. Do you think  public education is of great value?
  18. Do you think Justin Trudeau is a liberal in any sense other than “progressive” – like Woodrow Wilson?
  19. Do you think there are people in and out of government who intend to destroy the system we have?
  20. Do you think people should be entitled to equal outcomes without working for them?
  21. Do you think politicians are working in your best interest? Are bureaucrats?
  22. Do you think the WHO, CDC, FDA, NIH and other similar organizations in other countries can regain public trust?
  23. Do you think we should trust banks given their behaviour in Trudeau’s Emergencies Act fiasco?
  24. Do you trust the military, or the police? Maybe the fire department?
  25. Other than the branch of government that guarantees weights and measures, without government funding, could any charge a fee for service and survive.
  26. How many government departments would disappear if they did not already exist and had to rely on new money to create them. CBC? CRTC? Large school boards? and a hundred more. It’s easier to list the probable survivors.
  27. Do you think a government with 32% of the popular vote should be able to make sweeping changes to our society?
  28. Do you think there is more than one bio-lab in the Ukraine?
  29. Do you believe the only difference between a bio-research lab and a bio-weapons lab is the mission statement.
  30. Do you think a government the people doesn’t trust has value, or are they merely a competitor to the people, but with better weapons?
  31. Do you think during the pandemic, there were institutions within society that acted to retain their credibility? Unions, charities, universities, businesses, banks, places of worship, schools, cities, neighbourhoods, even families?
  32. Do you think most businesses continue to hold themselves to high standards?
  33. Do you think credible institutions are necessary for a society that works?
  34. Do you think institutions that are not credible can add net value or do we spend any extra value they create sorting what is true and what is not?
  35. Do you think we should treat climate change as an existential threat or merely a slow moving problem?
  36. Do you think there are infrastructure features like the hydro grid, pipelines, bank connectivity, cell phones that can be taken down by a hostile cyber attack? What’s preventing it?

The key question – do you believe in magic?

I personally believe in miracles, but experience teaches I should not rely on them. If we want productive change, things like fair outcomes, support for the helpless, attention to what works and why, quitting what does not work, and more, we must take power away from those who merely want to have and exercise that power. We must work, experiment, make the hard decisions, allocate resources, and correct the errors we make. It’s easy to make decisions if you don’t check to see if your choices work, even might work.

Everyone understands the ideas of human nature, limits and scarcity, yet we seem to think governments should not care about those.

How long will it be until an elected official acts against their own self-interest when some problem has an obvious solution not to their supporters liking? Quite some time I expect.

The reality of governance

Politics has little to do with governing in the real sense. Do we elect people who could think about the country and its people and act to make things both effective and efficient. We do not. Instead we elect the charismatic, the selfish, the connected, the ones who don’t need us except at election time, and maybe not even then. What set of facts makes that appear to be a reasonable answer to the good governance problem?

Douglas Adams has an insight. From The Restaurant At The End Of The Universe.

“The major problem — one of the major problems, for there are several — one of the many major problems with governing people is that of whom you get to do it; or rather of who manages to get people to let them do it to them.

To summarize: it is a well known fact that those people who most want to rule people are, ipso facto, those least suited to do it.

To summarize the summary: anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job.

To summarize the summary of the summary: people are a problem.”

So long as governing is first about politics, we are doomed. Why?

The priority list when politics dominates

In most cases politics is not about policy and practice, it is about who gets to decide. I have a friend who has suggested that leftists don’t care about anything so long as it is either required or prohibited. That’s the power dynamic. Deciding which rules apply. Once that dynamic becomes central, it is easy to see political priorities. Eventual action follows the political priorities.

What politicians care about in order of importance to them:

  1. Their own career
  2. Their party’s success
  3. Rewarding friends and supporters
  4. Punishing their enemies,  and enemies of their friends and supporters.
  5. The people

I would be happy to hear argument about this list. I know there will be exceptions for certain individuals, but in general? I have become very jaded in the past two years and can easily be wrong about this. Think about it.

If we want it to change we have to change the the conditions that work for the politicians who do not deserve their job.

  1. Stop asking the government to solve problems. They are happy to appear to make the effort and enhance their power. Very little ever comes of their effort and its price is high.
  2. Believe what they do, not what they say they are doing. If you are an indigenous community, how good is your drinking water? When they show you who they are, believe them.
  3.  Pay more attention. Given the bought and paid for media, that will be immensely harder than it once was. Even if the media didn’t tell you what to think, they do tell you what to think about. Look for the things they are not addressing. The dog who isn’t barking. See the list of quiet dogs above.

“If we continue to do what we have always done, we will continue to get what we have always gotten” Attributed to many possible creators, probably because it is so obvious and seldom tended to.

The bits to take away

Pay less attention to shiny objects and more attention to the meaning and results.

Learn to separate truth from propaganda. At a minimum learn to create a stack of things that might be true, but are not proven either way.

It’s a big subject. Find others who can help.

Assess the cost of a problem and the price of a solution. Notice secondary and later effects for any solution. Hasty solutions have unforeseen but foreseeable consequences ignored in the pricing step. Think about how lockdowns played out in response to COVID. From the government side solutions that create problems to address in future are a godsend. Need for more action.  It’s like the mafia in New Jersey. Run overweight trucks and have a highway construction business that repairs the damage the trucks do.

You can only spend a dollar once. If the government spends it on “A”, it is unavailable for any other use. When they do too much or are inefficient, they must get another dollar to spend on “B”. Taxes, and borrowing, which is deferred taxation, comes to pass. How much money do you borrow to do things that won’t pay for themselves in either cost savings or by producing income? The right answer is none. Governments are not good at getting right answers.

Help me, please. Please subscribe. If you have found this article helpful, forward it to others.

I build strategic, fact-based estate and income plans. The plans identify alternate ways to achieve spending and estate distribution goals. In the past, I have been a planner with a large insurance, employee benefits, and investment agency, a partner in a large international public accounting firm, CEO of a software start-up, a partner in an energy management system importer, and briefly in the restaurant business. I have appeared on more than 100 television shows on financial planning have presented to organizations as varied as the Canadian Bar Association, The Ontario Institute of Chartered Accountants, The Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food, and Banks – from CIBC to the Business Development Bank.

Be in touch at 705-927-4770 or by email at don@moneyfyi.com

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