By Larry Oscar
With the midterm elections just days ahead we have once again been bombarded with political ads and special interest groups touting their pleas for special favoritism.
Within the cloud of all this rhetoric you can count on some gems of stupidity surfacing. I guess it will never end. After all politicians are not very intelligent. Especially those that promise how big government can make our lives better.
Most politicians are not very good at simple math. This is a much bigger problem than most of us realize. The entire universe runs on mathematics, not emotion. For this reason most of the solutions to society’s problems cannot be solved by government handouts or “special programs.”
Although tempting government programs end up being a band aid to a problem that either has no solution or is a symptom of a problem and not the problem itself. Take poverty for example. In 1964 President Lyndon Johnson declared a “War on Poverty.” His new big government program was going to eliminate poverty in the United States. It would lift the bottom 15-17 percent of wage earners out of poverty. It was dubbed “The Great Society.”
The big problem is that we have a little math problem here. If you lift the bottom 15-17 percent of wage earners up they are now replaced by the former 18-34 percent who now are the new 15-17 percent in poverty. The GDP bell curve has just shifted to the right and the poverty level gets raised. You will always have a bottom 15-17 percent in poverty. It’s just simple math.
Johnson was not very good at simple math. And what’s amazing is how some of us never learn math. Today we have Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA), that figures, proposing a new government $6,000 per year give away to those in poverty.
“It will lift those in poverty into the middle class” she says. Once again we seem to have not learned a simple math lesson. How easy it is to think socialism is the answer to poverty and all of societies problems. These same clowns like Bernie Sanders just don’t get it. You don’t have to be a genius to understand that there are no quick solutions to most of society’s problems. Take over population for example.
Global over population is a real problem today. It is worse than “climate change’. And it is a simple fact that the greater the global human population the greater will be the stress on the global environment. It’s a simple math deduction. However, there is not a single politician that wants to even talk about over population. Why, because this problem does not have a good solution for the politicians can garnish votes. For that reason we avoid many real problems and instead treat the symptoms.
Over the past few weeks we have all seen the human tragedy of the people from Honduras trying to enter the United States. Honduras is a country with a constitution and elected government officials. However, it is a corrupt country with drug cartels and no real dedication to following their constitution. They take their constitution as a sort of suggestion on how things should run rather than the supreme law of the land. This is something the left in our country would like for us to do. In effect, they want us to be more like Honduras. Never mind the fact the people in Honduras consider living in poverty in the United States a real move upward from where they are now.
Living in poverty in the United States is very attractive to people who live in poverty in other countries. Maybe this is something to consider when these politicians want to make our country more like Europe.
If you really want to learn what other people in different parts of the world live like all you have to do is watch some of the house hunting shows on TV about those from the U.S. moving to other countries. It’s an eye opener.
There is no doubt that we can all improve in what we do and how we act toward others. Our government is paid for by those of us working in the private sector. Without a healthy private sector the public sector cannot survive. For this reason alone big government will never produce a higher quality of life that those on the left imagine. Just look at what is happening in Venezuela today.
It is my hope that we never stop questioning our government or holding politicians accountable for their actions, but it is also my hope we insist our politicians practice civility. It is through learning, civility, and reason we improve our society, and not through the left’s raw emotions.
(Larry Oscar is a graduate from the University of Tulsa and holds a degree in electrical engineering. He is retired and lives with his wife on a lake in Oklahoma where he brews his own beer, sails, and is a member of numerous clubs and organizations.)