What a hapless clutch of fools, those who think they can control the world, to bend it to their whim, to arrange it as they deem fit. In moments of weakness, in the quiet serenity of the night, we almost pity the Feds...
We'll get to that in a second, but first, a word about our unfortunate creature: Boobus-politicus.
In a battle of the sharpest wit, the politician arrives brandishing a spoon. And a teaspoon at that. It's not necessarily his fault, mind you. He's simply a dolt, a sub-evolved, evolutionary misfire.
He has no marketable skills. Nothing of value issues forth from his brain...nothing worth a shekel from his hands. Unable, therefore, to survive in a peaceful, voluntary eco-system, boobus-politicus must rely on coercion and brute force to get his way.
At his most benign, our intellectually supine dullard is content to whittle away his days in a kind of taxpayer-sponsored stupor, lost in the annals of gray, bureaucratic nothingness. As long as he doesn't attempt to 'do something', most people are happy enough to pay a little money just to keep him off the streets.
That's the deal. But it is a rarefied member of the political class indeed who does not thirst for power...unaware, perhaps, of its attendant downside.
'Power corrupts,' said Lord Acton, 'and absolute power corrupts absolutely.'
When a man is corrupted, depraved, there are few things he won't say or do...or believe. Take one of the "great leaders" of the world today. Any one will do. Is there anything he perceives to be beyond his control? Any law of nature...any axiom...dictum or truism to which he feels bound? If there is a single moral by which he feels obliged to abide, we haven't come across it.
Power - or, more often, the illusion of power - has corrupted him. Rotted his brain, what little of it there was to begin with. And so, with prefrontal cortex in standby mode and adrenal glands ripped into overdrive, he is ready to take on any brick wall that stands in his way...and always head first.
Just look at his attempts to control the world around him. The War on Drugs costs the American populace untold billions of dollars and has led to the highest - by far - incarceration rate in the world. And yet, one who is so inclined can still buy virtually any drug he wants...even in prison. An abject failure, in other words.
So too goes the War on Poverty. There are now more Americans on the SNAP rolls - food stamps - than ever before, both in raw numbers and expressed as a percent of the population. Fail! And what of the War on Terror?
Not content to simply stir up trouble with competing nation states around the world, the power mongers in the "Land of the Free" have launched a multi-fronted, military-style battle against...a tactic.
'What's next?' quipped Australian comedian, Steve Hughes. 'The War on Horror?'
And now look...despite (or because of?) trillions spent propping up a moribund monetary system...despite billions devoted to confidence campaigns and catchy slogans...despite thousands, perhaps millions of man hours spent selling the Summer of Recovery to the American people, the place is still in a funk.
Numbers out this morning show consumer confidence at its lowest level since 2011. The drop came, according to one news source, 'as higher payroll taxes took a bigger bite out of Americans' paychecks.'
Control...backfire. Control...backfire. Control...backfire.
These things ebb and flow, of course. Next month might register a 'welcomed rise' in this poll or that stat...or another 'unexpected slump'. Who knows? Not the Feds.
Nope...boobus-politicus can't win a hand. He's a dying species. Best just to let him go.
for The Daily Reckoning Australia
From the Archives...
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25-01-13 - Dan Denning
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24-01-13 - Bill Bonner
The Real Story Behind Germany's Gold Recall
23-01-13 - Byron King
At the Mercy of Financial Repressionists
22-01-13 - Dan Denning
Walter Russell Hall: From Rebellion to Bullion
21-01-13 - Kris Sayce
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About the Author
Joel Bowman is managing editor of The Daily Reckoning. After completing his degree in media communications and journalism in his home country of Australia, Joel moved to Baltimore to join the Agora Financial team. His keen interest in travel and macroeconomics first took him to New York where he regularly reported from Wall Street, and he now writes from and lives all over the world.