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ChrisGraley (29.75)

Like it or not, we have to get this country back to what made it great in the first place.

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February 14, 2010 – Comments (14)

OK, I'm going to tick off the liberals with this post for sure. I'll probably tick off most conservatives as well. I'll tick off some centrists too, but this still needs to be said. I come to this board because I get so much intelligent information about just about everything under the sun. I'm also attracted to people that shun the the talking heads in the investment world and have decided to make their investment choices on their own. Almost everyday I see a post that simply amazes me. The collective minds at this site are bar none a thousand times better than I've found anywhere else.

That being said, I'm still baffled how all sides still seem to support incorrect ideas, even when they have been proven to be incorrect. It seems that the comfort that we have all grown up in, leads to a laziness when it comes to independent thought. 

Let's start at the beginning... This country was born to oppose taxation without representation. We were basically exploited by England and they were simply following the path of superpowers before them. The reason that we had to be exploited in the first place was because England needed to pay for more and more entitlements to keep the masses at home happy. Those entitlements had to be paid by somebody and it was easier to get the disposable colonists to pay for it than to rile up the masses at home.

And then something strange happened! We beat them way to quickly in the war! Imagine getting all your buddies together to take on the State's National Guard and the National Guard decided to wear bright red and march in a straight line! So we had the advantage of being in a country full of resources, with a population that was not receptive to taxes at all. We grew because we knew we needed to grow business fast enough to make the low taxes enough to support the country.

Things didn't go wrong until the government started to spend money faster than it was making it. Taxes started to increase like crazy and the best excuse that we could get from government is that we aren't taxing on par with the countries in Europe and look at all those perks that they have. That's when things started to decline. If you look throughout history, all major empires seem to decline because of promises to the unsettled masses.

If you really want to succeed, we have to get back to the thought process of an emerging nation. I'll try to give 10 commandments that are guaranteed to tick everybody off.

1) A tax always leads to a decline, you might get away with it in the short term but in the long term you'll always lose to the country hungry enough not to tax.

2) If you don't respect Economics, you turn a blind eye to what made this country great to begin with.

3) You can't legislate morality, and even if you could, you shouldn't. That includes your religion.

4) Everything has a cost and nothing is free.

5) Agreeing with any person, party or ideology totally is just an admission that you're stupid.

6) The fact that you can't admit that you are part of the problem, is the biggest part of the problem.

7) If you really understood the problem, you'd be spending a lot more time on a solution.

8) Either through action or inaction, what you believe now, will make your kids suffer later.

9) You may not have caused the problem, but you contributed when you expected someone else to fix it for you.

10) The opposition is right about your flaws. When you are willing to admit that and move forward, the country actually might have some hope.

I really do hope that this helps someone.

 

Chris 

 

14 Comments – Post Your Own

#1) On February 14, 2010 at 11:28 PM, russiangambit (29.30) wrote:

Chris, #4 is the keeper. Just admitting this single one could do us all a whole lot of good. So much money is wasted irresponsibly, it is criminal.

US is a country of a great potential, but we see its potential squandered every day. What is the saying about 1st generation making  fortune and the 3rd and 4th generations squndering it because they grown too soft and complacent and no longer know how to work for  living? That is a very good analogy for wht ails US today. The population is too complacent, and doesn't realize what a harsh world exists around them and they are no longer protected from it. Until recently US was protected due to its geography. But no longer, thanks to globalization.

 

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#2) On February 14, 2010 at 11:57 PM, ChrisGraley (29.75) wrote:

Agreed Russian, I think our biggest problem is that we are too many generations removed from being hungry. When we get back to basics, we'll get back to success.

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#3) On February 15, 2010 at 12:13 AM, Harold71 (21.79) wrote:

If we get back to freedom, including freedom to fail, we'll get back to what made this country great. 

Freedom!   It is the fountain from which innovation and prosperity flows.  The only free lunch if there ever was one.

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#4) On February 15, 2010 at 12:32 AM, alexxlea (58.85) wrote:

Or, maybe people will wake up and realize that their singular output does not warrant their consumption and that somehow they will fall along with the rest of the developed world until their costs and wages meet up with other countries that also realize that the big favor they are doing the developed nations is one that can be called upon in the form of a role reversal.

Value-added goods are no longer produced here, people like to say we only produce ideas, but don't worry, other nations are going to go after that too. Idea protectionism is what is going to be yet another downfall of our once-proud "idea-export society".

What a joke. The idea of going public with a hedge fund was repulsive and yet a lot of people thought it was a great idea. Hell, maybe we can convince China that if they just keep making junk we consume forever that we'll one day make stuff for them and buy their bonds with the wages we SHOULD be making.

There is no reason that America should be in the position where it is today. There are a million reasons why it should be just another nation. And the fact of the matter is that it is just another country, with just another 300,000,000 people living in its borders. There is no God-given mandate that every American citizen deserves a house in the middle of a suburb and two vehicles that can be refueled anywhere for a nominal cost into eternity. There is no mandate saying that we have to pay our debts back, either, and that seems to be the doctrine our leaders are banking on when they gamble with trillions of dollars of assets. This will end a lot worse than a lot of people are thinking it will.

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#5) On February 15, 2010 at 2:09 AM, uclayoda87 (29.24) wrote:

The most likely reason that the US is not being treated like Greece is the fact that the US dollar remains the world's reserve currency.  As pointed out in a link from one of binve's blogs, once China acquires a critical mass of the  worlds gold supply, which they can already afford, they would be able to mint new gold and silver coins in their own currency.  This would expand their money supply enough to make it a real contender for the world reserve currency.  China recently began issuing long-term bonds (50 year), why?  They don't need borrowed money.  What they are likely putting in place are the pieces needed to take over as the world reserve currency, which is tied to gold/silver.

I keep returning to this point because when the US dollar loses the reserve currency status, issuing new debt to cover expanding government programs will lead to the type of problems that Greece is facing now.

The end game is near, maybe only a few years away.  If the US fiscal policy doesn't improve soon, the world may come to realize that a fiat currency is not well suited for reserve currency status and a Chinese alternative, backed by gold/silver and severed from the US dollar is more stable and secure.  All of the financial benefits that the US has enjoyed as a result of having the reserve currency will be transferred to China.  When that happens, President Obama's slogan:  "Change that you can believe in" will become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

 

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#6) On February 15, 2010 at 2:43 AM, SamTheHobbit (29.97) wrote:

If there are enough new members of the Congress, following the 2010 election, their first order of business should be to pass legislation limiting the number of years one can serve in Congress and reducing congressional pensions and medical benefits to that of the minimum social security and medicare benefits.  If this happens, i believe that the new members of the Congress would gain the respect of the American people, which would be needed in order to pass the spending cuts that are required to fix the economy.

If a candidate is not willing to support term limits and decreased congressional benefits, they are telling you that they want to be in the Congress for their benefit and not yours.

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#7) On February 15, 2010 at 4:12 AM, ozzfan1317 (79.18) wrote:

I like sams idea also although me and Chris rarely agree I like this post too many in our nation seem too complacent and dont understand that hard work is the key to success I may prefer mental work to physical but its the same idea if more of us kept constantly trying to improve and better ourselves and striving to be a part of a trade we would be much better off.

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#8) On February 15, 2010 at 8:28 AM, oldfashionedway (35.53) wrote:

Chris,

I agree with most of your "commandments". 

Could you elaborate on #8?  ...what you believe now...

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#9) On February 15, 2010 at 8:31 AM, DiceMagic (< 20) wrote:

The position of the US$ as the reserve currency for the world has allowed a scewed exchange rate for 50 years whereby US consumers get to purchase foreign goods reduced from their intrinsic value. I think as the dollar weakens the good honest hardworking people of the US are going to find out soon what a fair exchange rate means and the world and the US will be a better place for it. You could start manufacturing again! And guess what...? the UK and the Eurozone are in the same boat. Ask Greece!

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#10) On February 15, 2010 at 9:03 AM, Bkeepr100 (< 20) wrote:

TANSTAAFL - "There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch."

Freedom isn't ever, ever free!

  It is paid for in the sweat and blood of it's seekers and admirers.  However it is still worth gaining, even with all the pain and struggle it take to win it.  It is just that we have now become economic monetary slaves to the governments' plans. They have inslaved and stolen our rightful inheiritated wealth from us, as goverments have and always will do in the end. Report this comment
#11) On February 15, 2010 at 11:11 AM, jddubya (< 20) wrote:

I wouldn't want to be in any other country right now than the United States of America.

But that's just me, and I've been called stupid plenty of times for not doing what others think I should be doing.

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#12) On February 15, 2010 at 3:56 PM, dudemonkey (38.50) wrote:

Just wanted to say "Thanks" to CG for posting this.  Much appreciated.

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#13) On February 15, 2010 at 4:28 PM, SockMarket (41.96) wrote:

"The reason that we had to be exploited in the first place was because England needed to pay for more and more entitlements to keep the masses at home happy."

Chris, read a history book! It was to pay off debt from the 7 years war.

 

"Those entitlements had to be paid by somebody and it was easier to get the disposable colonists to pay for it than to rile up the masses at home."

again inaccurate. We just didn't take it lying down like Englanders did, they actually paid substantially higher taxes and suffered through hikes as well.

 

"We grew because we knew we needed to grow business fast enough to make the low taxes enough to support the country."

we grew mostly because we could and to help pay down debt from the war; most Americans of the time would have been happy to see a government small enough that it could subsist on very low taxes without growth

 

"If you look throughout history, all major empires seem to decline because of promises to the unsettled masses."

Name 3, using only 1 chinese dynasty. Rome collapsed because of financial mismanagement, not unsettled masses overthrowing them in a revolution. Carthage collapsed due to the might of Rome. Many middle eastern dyanstys simply gave way when they could no longer resist their outside enemies. 

 

in response to your "10 commandments"

1) try telling that to scandanavia...

2) true

3) true

4) you are one of the first people to actually point that out. im glad to hear it

5) haha. very accurate. Naturally though 60%+ of the people who read this will hate you for it.

6) well, generally yes

7) that assumes that you would want to solve the problem and don't just want to ignore it

8) if you take the right action there is no reason for this to occur. inaction will cause it though.

9) true

10) which opposition? There are a bunch of them and several have contradictory complaints. 

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#14) On February 15, 2010 at 9:09 PM, ChrisGraley (29.75) wrote:

oldfashionedway 

Just my way of saying that the changes proposed by both sides (left and right) will hurt your children in the long run and those sitting on the sidelines isn't helping the matter.

danielthebear, I think that we agree but I think you've put your history in too small of a nutshell.

Yes the Seven years war did increase government spending, but that war was fought to secure valuable trade products to benefit the masses. 

Upgrading the infrastructure in the highlands by building roads for troop transport and flooding the colonists with redcoats to protect the trade goods from other empires is what put spending over the edge. Yes you are right that the Brits paid higher taxes than the colonists, but any tax on the colonists was unjustified when it was added to the local taxes, tacked on to the other mercantilist strategies, and not backed by representation.

we totally agree on your third point that most people would have preferred smaller government at that point. By growth, I meant economic and not governmental. I believe that government was kept small in scope for quite a long time.

Rome collapsing is a perfect example of what I'm talking about. "All Roman's have the right to free wheat!", Britain would be the second example. Another recent example would be Japan, and before that Germany. The Byzantine empire popped in my head for another one in the past. You can take your pick on which Chinese Empire to use since they basically invented fiat currency, they have been to the inflation well more than a few times.

 

Also Scandanavia (other than Norway) is going to crumble shortly as well. Norway will crumble too, but it will take a bit longer due to their natural resources. 

 

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