Thursday, March 13, 2008

Are You Better Off Than You Were X Years Ago?

Poll: "Are You Better Off Than You Were X Years Ago"?
This is a favorite political question asked of the voter.

MSNBC Poll: We’re worse off than 4 years ago, voters say


For me this is a shallow question that could also indicate much about the person's mistaken views on what he expects from the government as much as it might indicate the government's competence in the matter.

For me personally - the answer is an astounding "YES". I make more money than I did for or 8 years ago. I have more solid job skills to remain gainfully employed. My family has grown and is healthy. I could stand to lose some weight and exercise more.

I am bothered by the attempt to hand so much of our own destiny over to the government for them to steer us in the right direction.

Last night as I was listening to the "Herman Cain Radio Show" a caller chimed in with what I thought was a brilliant and appropriate way to look at this point and many things. The comment went something like this: "In the 21st century ILLITERACY should be shifted to a measure of one's ability to recognize the current state of affairs around you and ADAPT APPROPRIATELY". For me - this is what I do. I stay current on the news and about issues related to my field of interest, and beyond in most cases.

For example - yesterday there was a big debate about the use of corn as a fuel source rather than food. While I am not the biggest proponent of ethanol I find that argument that corn used as fuel robs people of food to be ridiculous. The people arguing this point are only viewing the corn production within the limits of today's production capacity. Indeed the recent run up in prices means that there is a lack of supply rather than "mis-distribution" going on. Worse yet - it is beyond me to understand why the loudest voices about the negative impact of globalization don't suggest that those in the cities that no longer have a job waiting for them to return to the rural areas and work to ADDRESS THE SHORTAGE OF CORN while the PRICES ARE HIGH ENOUGH TO MAKE A PROFIT FROM!!! Think about it - previously farming was a losing proposition. Now with the commodity prices high - you can afford to pay your employees the elusive good wage that they had complained about before.

Sadly some people look to others to construct the MASSIVE, SYSTEMATIC changes in the economy and society that history has shown is best left to innovators to do in an incremental fashion. I actually fear when frustrated Americans at their wits end perform a "witless" action by turning their personal liberties over to the government to CONSTRUCT a new direction for them. Inevitably this leads to loss of economic freedom and a misallocation of resources beyond which the market can fix in the short term.

For many disgruntled people - the real question should be "What specifically did you do on a consistent basis to insure that where you stand right now is where you intended to be?"

For me - I could stand to lose 20 pounds. I will begin to do today what will eventually bring me to this point. The art of REVERSE ENGINEERING one's way to an ultimate destiny should be mastered by more people.

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