Work Ethic Would Help Solve Government’s Woes

MusingsHeader“Musings of a Pig Farmer” by Larry Sailer

Many people say “windshield time” gives them time to think.  Imagine how much “windshield time” the average farmer has during fall harvest. I’ll tell you, it’s enough to solve the world’s problems – or at least provide some perspective on the mess our government has created!

Most Americans must balance their personal budgets, which requires reducing expenditures and increasing revenue whenever possible.  That might mean someone picks up a second or third job.  Others might forgo new clothes or a new car in favor of second-hand clothing or a used vehicle.  But, our government doesn’t seem to take this same common sense approach to resolving its financial issues.

Two weeks ago the U.S. government “shut down.”  From what I gather, about 17% of the government is staying home yet it doesn’t appear that cut is enough. Why not? Many government officials blame the lack of job creation (real job creation).  I also believe jobs are key – one key.

While I’m a pig farmer and not an economist, I understand that good jobs fuel tax revenue! More jobs equal more income for the budget, but creating jobs isn’t as simple as it sounds.

My experience running a construction business during the 1980s Farm Crisis provided me with insight on the problems a business owner can have creating jobs:

  1. It’s a challenge to find employees competent enough to follow directions and to complete a given task independently.  Education is failing our working class. (Oh… did I say I would be politically correct?  I’m choosing to be truthful instead!)
  2. Too many employees prefer to collect a paycheck rather than earn their pay.  Too many employees today believe they deserves everything (i.e. is entitled) from their employer.  Not all jobs are easy.  Construction, like farming, requires a lot of manual labor.  It’s hard work, so many of my new hires wouldn’t return on Day 2.  It wasn’t uncommon for a guy to work for a week or two and then not return once he received his first paycheck.  Others would quit as soon as their child support papers arrived.
  3. The third problem I had was insurance. My insurance bill was staggering as I had insurance on my work trucks, plus liability insurance and unemployment insurance.
  4. Energy costs can really add up. We had business in 10 states involving a lot of travel.
  5. The fifth problem I had was government regulation!  It was the biggest problem because government regs effect all the other problem plus some.

Less government and less regulation would create more jobs, leading to more tax revenue. More tax revenue equals less debt.

This concept sounds so simple, doesn’t it?  Yet our illustrious leaders in D.C. can grasp it.  They don’t understand that job creation alone isn’t enough to solve our federal deficit.  Why?  Because the more revenue generated by the U.S. government, the more money it spends! Saying we need to cut spending won’t solve a thing because talk is cheap.

In an article published October 18 by the Wall Street Journal, former chairman of the Federal Reserve Alan Greenspan says he thinks mistakes were made quite some time ago and the situation has escalated over recent years.  He said his biggest revelation came about a year ago when he was reviewing gross domestic savings numbers. He found the increase in entitlements has closely corresponded to a decline in the country’s savings.

“We had this extraordinary increase in benefits, with each party trying to outbid the other,” Greenspan is quoted in the WSJ. “That practice has been eroding the country’s flow of savings that’s so critical in financing our capital investment.” The decline in savings has been partly offset by borrowing from abroad, which brings us to our current foreign debt: $5 trillion and counting.”

Greenspan says he is baffled by all the blame that has been piled on him for the current economic situation. When a man of this stature can admit he is flabbergasted, we should take note.

But what really struck me when I read the October 19th WSJ article is how fear and emotion are the driving forces that shape people’s opinions.  This is very true relating back to last Tuesday’s blog.  Concerns over GMOs in foods is totally about fear! Science takes a back seat and doesn’t get read, just like Alan Greenspans’ rebuttal to Professor Taylor’s statement about the housing bubble.