Saving For A Future

January, 2010 Feature--Truth Based Logic

Wise men & squirrels save for the future. Savings & freedom. Utilitarian Consumerism, a path to bondage.

For our first feature of the tenth year in a most unfortunate decade, we will be short & to the point--a blunt statement of the forgotten obvious.

Countless generations of civilized humans taught their children that squirrels & wise men saved for future need; a lesson visually reinforced as children watched squirrels bury & retrieve nuts, as seasons dictated. The lesson was ideologically reinforced by Bible passages, such as Joseph's explanation of Pharaoh's dream prophesying the coming seven good years, followed by seven lean. Corollaries of the principle were enunciated in a developing literature--as in the classic paternal advice in Hamlet, neither a borrower nor a lender be.

Saving--putting aside a significant portion of productive achievement, each year--has always provided the nearest thing to actual security, given the vicissitudes of life, that squirrels or humans can hope to achieve. From a political or social perspective, it is even more important that saving provides the only basis for personal freedom--the foundation for human liberty, for independence of thought & action. One without personal resources--without the ability to obtain and use private property, secure private space--can never be truly free. The concept that "Man's home is his castle," reflects this truism--a recognition that the would-be free man or woman needs a corner of Creation, where one can withdraw from the scrutiny of Government or any would-be meddler, to meet their own needs, to live without other human permission, according to the best Lights one's Maker has provided.

It is also clear, that past savings provide the means for future economic growth--for investment in the means for increased production of whatever a people require or desire--the foundation for their increasing wealth, a source for continued employment of their neighbors.

All perfectly obvious! The irony is that the United States, once among the freest peoples in human history, now have a Government that actually seeks to discourage saving--even actively seeks to persuade other nations, like the Chinese, to abandon high rates of personal savings, in order to consume more. What makes this truly absurd is that the Chinese still have a nominally "Communist Government"--yet one now at peace with its people adopting the fundament of Capitalism on a massive scale;--while once free, capitalistic, Americans are now governed by fantasy seekers--far to the Left of those nominal Communists--home grown demagogues, seeking to create an illusion of solving problems of the moment, at the expense of any future worth the having!

We understand the pseudo economics behind the "consumerism" of our present American Mipip* government. The implication, clearly, is a utilitarian concept that the interests of the individual--particularly the productive individual capable of producing enough to build a capital base--must be sacrificed in order to artificially stimulate economic activity for the basest political & social purposes of the moment. No one, but a willing parasite, really benefits. Instead of looking to the future--recognizing that true progress has always been a multi-generational project;--the emphasis is entirely on the immediate satisfaction of perceived collective desires, even where it means sacrificing the essential foundation for a free society in a rational, relatively secure, future--one only possible via saving--to such imagined "needs."

It is basic to economic understanding, that people produce in order to consume--now or in the future. It is never necessary nor advisable to artificially stimulate consumption. The reason people, with means, defer consumption, is in recognition of future need; a willingness to build a sounder future at the expense of current self-indulgence. To interfere with such provident behavior is to deny the most basic freedom of the wise, to favor an over-indulgence of the foolish. Similar disregard for liberty & individual prospects characterized the monolithic utilitarian societies of Lenin & Stalin's Bolshevik (Communist) Russia & Hitler's Socialist Germany.

Such sacrificed the productive individual or creative eccentric to the momentary whims of a mob stirred by the base emotions that always drive the far Left; a celebration of envy & resentment, an exaltation of mass over quality; of controlled followers over intelligent & purpose driven behavior. It was precisely the sort of mindset, from which Madison and those other, honorable, wise & providential men, sought to protect Americans in future generations, when they devised and formulated the carefully premised delegations & limitations of the Constitution.

To fully grasp the issue on a grand scale, one must perceive not the static tableau of human poverty, endlessly painted by demagogues on the Left, but the actual dynamics of sound family pursuit; the difference between a young couple, starting out buying things they cannot afford, on time obtained by agreeing to usurious interest payments, and one saving a significant part of their yearly income, although it means not keeping up with neighbors in the purchase of creature comforts & popular appliances. It requires the relatively simple calculation of how each new family will stand after seven years; the first struggling to pay the minimum on their credit cards, after payments on all other incurred debts; the second now able to supplement income from jobs with the fruits from investment; to begin to purchase and maintain the appliances, now wearing out in the homes of the debt strapped, while facing a more confident future that only the provident can enjoy.

As more and more of a population lose the ability to actually act independently economically, prospects for popular Government decline. As more and more of a population become dependent on centralized authority, both because of improvident conduct & the usurpation of power by a Central Government that has promoted improvident conduct for almost three generations, prospects for human liberty--for any meaningful individual freedom--expire, as we suffer the controlled-mob rule ideal, achieved by the great utilitarian monoliths of the Twentieth Century. Both Bolshevik Russia & Nazi Germany were direct results of the collapse of economic providence. (Granted, colossal war costs precipitated European wealth destruction. But it is the wasting of a people's capital that destroys economic & social freedom, whatever the stated object for the waste.) It is the destruction of the real wealth of a people that triggers the desperate acceptance of the promises of grasping voices, who always emerge in times of chaos.

The quack economists surrounding our would-be rulers are no friends to an American future.

William Flax

*Mipip=Marxist influenced pseudo-intellectual poseur.

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