Tuesday, April 22, 2008

The future you save, might be your own

Would you be as concerned about the price of gasoline for your car if the government paid half of the cost? Not likely, because escalating gasoline costs would not be a big deal if the net effect does not impact your budget. If you think this could not be done, remember the government owns the money tree; it can print as many dollars as it wishes.

What about those selling gasoline? They would be thrilled with government assistance to their customers. Market forces of competition would not stand in the way of keeping prices high because the market would not be price sensitive. Eliminate competition for larger market share or greater sales volume and it is not necessary to lower prices to attract more business in order to make more profit.

This is the Democrat scenario for the game called "Everybody Wins"; everybody that is but the working fools paying taxes to support the "Everybody Wins" game. This is the modern day version of "Monopoly" but here the banker is you.

If all of us would spend even just a few moments as we sip our overpriced Starbucks coffee to think about the game, we would soon realize not everyone wins in this game regardless what Democrats call it.

It isn’t rocket science to come up with examples to uncover the fallacy of the "Everybody Wins" game; it can be revealed by virtually all government mandated programs intending to benefit a few at the expense of the many.

The popular leftist initiative to "give" everyone healthcare would be accomplished by "universal health insurance". However the cost of providing healthcare for everyone is huge, not just in direct costs but in how it affects the very care purported to be provided. Not only would people who do not want to pay for insurance be forced to do so, but healthcare providers would be pushed into receiving less and less for their services as one means of keeping costs low. What do you suppose will be the result if doctors have to see many more patients in a day to maintain sufficient income to meet their business costs?What do you suppose will happen to the quality of healthcare you receive under these circumstances? Who do you suppose would pay for the "free healthcare" some will receive?

We all know that college costs are high; too high in many cases to permit intelligent youngsters to receive an education that would not only help them in life but would also help our country’s growth and development. The government in seeking to remedy all problems with money offers financial support for students to assist them to pay the exorbitant costs charged by colleges and universities – and for that school year it works. But few think about the cause and effect of these government subsidies. With recognition that their high costs do not affect the "market" for students, there is no need for colleges and universities to lower their costs to attract more customers, i.e. students. Since all "places of higher learning" are recipients of the government largesse via their students, there is no competition for the customers and what otherwise would be market forces won’t apply to them.

Thomas Sowell said it best:

"In any kind of economic transaction, it seldom makes sense to charge prices so high that very few people can afford to pay them. But, with the government ready to step in and help whenever tuition is "unaffordable," why not charge more than the traffic will bear and bring in Uncle Sam to make up the difference?"

The government continues to subsidize farmers for not growing things, thanks to the legislative power of senators and congressmen from farm states, and the desire to receive votes in national election. It doesn’t seem to matter that the original purpose of assisting small farmers maintain their income while they supply needed food products to the rest of us, has been long past. Farms are now owned by mega businesses not mom and pop and their children living in a little house on the prairie. The result is the same as wherever the false "Everyone Wins" game is played; some people profit and the most of us pay. Is this the intended or unintended consequence?

Direct government handouts are not the only way to play the "Everybody Wins" game; it can also be played by government policy, sometime by taking action and sometimes by inaction.

When the government makes it easier for business to have lower labor costs by keeping open the doors for illegal immigration, profits can be higher and, if they wish, prices can be lower. Of course, there are two possibilities that may occur in this scenario, prices remain high and only profits increase, or American citizens wanting employment at living wages are shut out of the market and either remain unemployed or will necessarily have to also work for less wages.

All this is not to say that it is never in the country’s best interest for tax payers to support government assistance; of course there are situations which require us to accept the need for tax dollars to do what would not otherwise be able to be done that would help our country without this assistance. One outstanding example is in the energy field.

Instead of forcing curly cue light bulbs upon us and ethanol, with some initial government assistance legislatively and financially we could tap into a virtually limitless (at least for several hundred years) supply of coal to produce oil. Not only would this approach allow us to use existing fuel production and distribution systems, it could be accomplished in a very short time. The technology to convert coal to oil has not only existed for decades, it has continued to be developed and improved upon. Even today, The U.S. Air Force, not wanting to be caught short in wartime, has an ongoing program to supply itself with oil products resulting from coal-to-oil conversion. The only ones standing in the way of this solution to foreign oil dependence is ourselves. Remember what Pogo said "We have met the enemy and they is us."

Think about it, the future you save might be your own.

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