No doubt, America was at one time the land of the free. Of course, that was long before 46.4 million citizens began using Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) cards to purchase their daily bread. Similarly, that was back when you could milk your cow and sell the milk to thirsty buyers without being visited at 5 a.m. by U.S. marshals.
These days the ideas that roused America’s War of Independence are, alas, just ideas. Limited government and individual liberty were long ago squandered for big government and collectivism. Gone are the days when you could earn a living without the IRS making a federal case out of it. So, too, gone are the days when your kids could sell a glass of lemonade to your neighbors without some city busybody shutting them down for not having an approved permit.
Somehow, for the greater good of us all, Washington has become a sort of money sucking vortex over the last 100 years. At the Capitol Building sits a cadre of legislatures and an army of staffers operating with a devout singleness of purpose…to work up new laws to take your money. New rules, proposed rules, and notices are published daily in the Federal Register. A quick read of the daily publication will enlighten and alarm you to the vast array of agencies, departments, and commissions and their vast array of daily drivel.
Just last week, for instance, the Supreme Court clarified to all Americans that Obamacare is not a health care program after all; rather it’s a tax program. Now, for your own good, you must have health insurance or risk paying a tax that exceeds the cost of purchasing the insurance. By imparting this talisman, the Supreme Court preserved the largest entitlement expansion in over 45 years at just the moment existing commitments are bankrupting the nation.
This, unfortunately, is but one more example of American’s loss of independence and personal freedom. But we won’t dwell on it today. Instead we’ll pause from our usual market observations to offer some words on These United States.
A Most Agreeable Place
Tomorrow is Independence Day after all, and as many have already commenced their holiday festivities, we felt it time to reflect on this great nation we call home. What we mean is even though These United States are remarkably altered from what the founders intended, our purpose today is not to lament. For this is a time of celebration. So we shall celebrate These United States, and we shall celebrate them with gratitude.
To begin, we can’t think of a more agreeable place. Our federal government is broke and our state government is too. Nonetheless, things still work wonderfully well.
When we turn on the faucet water flows out. We take hot showers every day. There’s no sewage flowing down the streets as far as we can tell. On top of that the trash man shows up to collect our garbage every Tuesday rain-or-shine.
Within a short walk from our house are four different grocers. The shelves are always full. The produce is always fresh. And the cost for most items is exceptionally reasonably. This week we picked up five ears of fresh corn for just $0.99. That comes out to less than $0.20 a pop…practically free.
So what do we care if our government is broke and our leaders are imposters?
In short…we don’t.
Why should we when everything’s so pleasantly blissful and delightful? And even if we did care…what could we really do about it?
Nothing other than what we already do…that is, we look on and ogle, and smirk with amusement and hilarity.
Celebrating Independence Day with Gratitude
It really doesn’t matter one way or the other if we resist our leaders as they bankrupt the nation under the pretense of saving us all. For this was destine to happen…and who are we to stand in the way?
Regardless, our wife will be just as fetching and beautiful, our coffee will taste just as bold or bitter, and our back will still hurt after a long day’s work. The sun will still shine. The birds will still sing. And the flowers will still bloom.
So even as the economy sputters, and all the well intentioned tomfoolery in Washington fleeces us for our own good, we smile and are determined to enjoy it. We aim to celebrate with gratitude what is left of this land of opportunity where lunatics still thrive and eccentrics still prosper. Moreover, we aim to have the time of our lives.
Hence, we’ll do what we always do. We’ll head down to the Long Beach Harbor with our wife and son…and a million of our closest friends. There we’ll munch on a funnel cake, or perhaps an ice-cream cone. We’ll bob our head to the soulful sounds of a street-corner musician. We’ll gawk at the endless display of freaks parading down the boardwalk. We’ll tell jokes. We’ll have laughs. And when the sun sets and stars twinkle bright, we’ll marvel at the brilliance of the fireworks show glittering in the sky over the vast Pacific Ocean.
We’ll point. We’ll hoot. We’ll holler. We’ll howl.
And we’ll celebrate the Independence of These United States.
Enjoy your holiday!
for Economic Prism