Tuesday, March 08, 2005

MONEY!

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I remember the anecdote of the college professor, who paced across the classroom floor and observed the drowsy stupor of his students. He spoke quietly for a while, then suddenly shouted the word

SEX!!!!

which shook his class back to attention. When I first heard that story, the message was that some words have immediate and deep-seated importance in our minds. I would suggest that when we speak of politics and morality, "Money" also gets our attention. And that is actually a good thing.

The Democrats, and their Liberal subset, are raging at the re-election of the President, and worse, the continuing move to the Right in America. Why such hatred? You see it in their protest signs. "No War for Oil" they demand, failing to accept the nascent democracy forming in Afghanistan, Iraq, and possibly in places like Lebanon, Egypt, maybe something like representation in Saudi Arabia, maybe a step towards reason in Syria and Iran. You see it in their demand that the US pass a "Global Test", as John Kerry stated it during the Presidential Election Debates last year, unaware that the U.S. Constitution is well suited for our self-governance, and the rest of the world in poor position to suggest that they have a better model. Liberals assume greed on the part of the Right, even as they use the same motivation to scare Seniors into opposing Social Security reform.

But like it or not, and for whatever motivation, the economies of the world will play their roles in our futures. The proven track record of the New York Stock Exchange, shows the clear superiority for attaching Private Savings Accounts to the Stock Market in place of trusting government to suddenly become efficient and productive in providing for the financial security of millions of citizens. The Stock Market also shows up as a valid barometer of health in other places, whether it is the Nikkei in Tokyo, the Mumbai in New Delhi, or any other place where ordinary people are able to trade and invest in shares of corporations. I knew Iraq would succeed as a self-sufficient nation, when I learned that over four thousand Iraqis applied for licenses to open their own businesses the first day they were eligible to do so. That speaks to confidence, and ultimately drives its own success.

I'm amused by the current arguments thrown out by the Left. Essentially, they are assuring us the good times can't last. They say this to cast doubt on the notion of allowing people to put their own money into the Stock Market, which over the past century has grown at an average pace more than ten times the increases in Social Security (which itself depends on a healthy economy for it's strength, but no Liberal will aver admit that inconvenient tidbit), and to suggest that the incipient wave of democratic reform moving in so many countries will perhaps evaporate the next time the market hiccups. In point of fact, we may argue (and economists surely do) about the reason that the United States has more or less exploded in growth since its creation, but the historical fact itself must not be denied, or its significance discounted in the pallid interest of political resurgence.

Which brings me to my conclusion for this article. Money does not make the world go around, but it is true, that you have to pay your way. Reagan recognized that the Soviet economy could not keep up with the American economy, and that became a foundation for the U.S. victory in the Cold War. Before that, in 1941 Admiral Yamamoto warned the Imperial Command in Tokyo, that the Japanese industry could not match the U.S. industry in a protracted war. He was right, and so even though the Nazis and Japanese both exceeded the United States in men under arms and material in 1941, by 1945 the United States had beaten them both. No other continent, let alone single nation, can match the United States in economic power. That is, and will continue to be, the trump card in our affairs in any conflict for the foreseeable future. We can only lose if we first defeat our own confidence.

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