We need to stop for awhile in our learning in order to develop something new…but very necessary. When fire was discovered, people’s comfort increased. When the wheel was invented, transportation got better. When the telescope was invented, scientists were able to learn so much more…and so on. Through the ages each of the sciences has discovered or invented tools for the sake of enhancing the science itself in order to better the welfare of mankind. The science of economics has and does use many tools, but in my mind it has always been missing one vital tool. So why don’t we just create that tool today and thereby increase your ability to understand economics?
Years ago the Russians shot down Flight 007. I know what you’re thinking, what does this have to with economics? Please bear with me…The Russians’ immediate response what they didn’t shoot down that plane. What were they doing? Were they lying? Right. Because a few days later they said, “Yes we did shoot it down but the Americans made us do it.” Now what were they doing? Lying? Probably, but not totally necessarily. Deceiving? Could it be that the person making the statement really believed he was telling the truth? Possibly. Let’s take a look at it this way: Take that statement: “Yes we shot down that plane, but the Americans made us do it.” Suppose this is told to ten average Americans, how many do you think would believe it? Probably none. What if the same statement were told to ten average Russians? Perhaps all or some of them would believe it.
Now this is the problem…what do you call it when a person makes a statement that maybe sounds like a lie but there is no way at the time you can prove it’s a lie, but he makes it because he wants you to believe him and do as he wants you to do? Sounds familiar but you can’t quite find the right descriptive term for it? It is my opinion that the science of economics has suffered for centuries because it does possess that word, a tool which adequately describes that situation, since understanding that situation and recognizing it is of PARAMOUNT IMPORTANCE to the science of economics. So why don’t we just create one? Our Native Americans had a good way of saying it when the white man made promises or treaties: White man speak with forked tongue.
Now is there any typical occasion or circumstance where we hear that kind of talk? And especially from politicians? Of course, when they’re campaigning. We could use the word campaigning but that one’s already in use. How about just “paigning”? Paign kind of has a double meaning, and it’s sure a new word. And it rhymes with chain, disdain, drain, feign, pain, stain, vain, profane, and insane. It’s a winner!
So let’s see how it works. When they said, “We didn’t shoot down 007,” what were they doing? They were lying. Now, when later they said, “We shot down 007 but the Americans made us do it,” what were they doing? They were paigning us.
Let’s try a few more. Let’s go back to Noz and look at some of the things that happened, but look at them now with the knowledge you’ve gained, and with your new tool. When The Wiz said to the people of Noz, “That poor farmer, he’s worked all these years, harder than anybody else, it’s only fair and right he now be supported by the government of Noz,” what was he doing? He was paigning the people. How do you know that? Because first of all Noz was deprived of the farmer’s production, and we know if production goes up, Noz gets better and if production goes down, Noz gets worse; not only does Noz lose the farmer’s production, it loses the added Buks to support the farmer. So the Standard of Living for the country went down, but The Wiz didn’t explain that up front to the producers. What he probably wanted is the farmer’s vote. So the people got what? The got paigned. But what do you suppose The Wiz got? He probably got the farmer’s vote for life.
How about when Wiz told the good folks of Noz the streets need wider stripes on them but don’t worry he’s not going to tax them anymore, he’s going to print some money and they will be okay? That sounds like classical paigning because we know printing that money leads to inflation and inflation is just another tax, except it’s probably the worst tax of all because it hurts poor people the most. And when Wiz tells the voters how interesting it would be to finally find out if hoot owls hoot more on hot nights or cold nights, what did he do? Well, he paigned them. Why? He paigned them because, yeah, when he told them it would be interesting . . . that much is probably so . . . but he didn’t say it was going to cost them. He didn’t tell them their Standard of Living would go down a bunch of Buks to find out those things. Had the voters thought about it that way, they might of said, “Let us continue in ignorance a little more with respect to the hootability of our night creatures in order that we may have adequate necessary things for our everyday lives.”
Now we are ready to debunk economics.
I remember one man who ran for President during very trying times for this nation. When he ran for office, he did so under the banner of ultra-fiscal conservatism whereby he would cut back the size of the government and its programs. But instead, after being elected, he created massive government programs.Some criticize him for changing this country form a nation of enterprising, self-sufficient people into a welfare state where hardworking producers have to support all kinds of non-producers. Then you have other people who view him as something of a savior who rescued this country form economic disaster.
Let’s not get taken up with either side of this argument. The point I’m making is the man said he would do one thing . . . he gets elected on that and then turns around and does something else. Sounds like a little paigning went on there.
Then along came another President who was determined to wage war on poverty, to do away with poverty. As a result, hundreds and hundreds of billions of dollars were bled from the economy to wage the war on poverty, with the bottom line being that today we have all the debts of this ‘war’, but we still have the same portion of our country in poverty. You might say, “What a rip-off. Why don’t they stop doing that? What’s it going to take for them to see it hasn’t worked? Seems like we’d be way better off now had we not spent all that money. Everybody . . . especially poor people . . . would have been better off because of the inflation it caused.”
Then along comes another President who says what this country needs is to restore its fiscal integrity, to cut taxes, to cut deficits, to reverse the growth of government. And guess what happened then? Then he outspent all the others put together! Our own President! That’s terrible. That’s insane! Paigned again! Now, don’t misunderstand me. These Presidents are thought of as very honorable people . . . all fiercely patriotic, wanting nothing but the best for the United States and its people. You might say, “But it doesn’t sound like they were above paigning the people, too.” The history books say you’re right. Why do you suppose that is? Maybe they think they know what’s right for us and can therefore justify any kind of method at all. That’s possible. Maybe they do it out of some kind of greed. I’ve noticed some politicians seem to come into office poor and leave very rich. Possibly. Maybe they think we’re too dumb to understand economics. Or maybe they didn’t understand economics themselves. Well, that’s probable. This point is . . . they do it. But remember don’t spend your time pointing fingers at Presidents. Presidents can’t authorize one dime . . . it’s the members of Congress who do the spending. Sure, the President has influence, but only Congress has the legal right.
You might be getting the feeling that I feel this country is in a world of hurt and that it’s Congressmen who put it there. Ask yourself this: “WHO ELSE COULD HAVE PUT IT THERE?” So it sounds that for the price of a vote a Congressman will do something to hurt the country . . . either deliberately or out of ignorance . . . paigning away like crazy, making believe it’s for the ultimate benefit. And that there’s nothing at all difficult to understand about economics, but it’s the politicians who screw up things.
You have just debunked economics.