Wednesday Feature: Insanity

Happy Hump Day!

Every once in a while, I feel the need to rant, if just a bit. Personally, it’s like an exorcism of pent-up frustration. Since this blog is mine and I am the author, editor, chief cook, and bottlewasher, I get a certain license to write stuff that I feel is important. I ask readers today, for a bit of indulgence.

Insanity is classically defined by Oxford as “the state of being seriously mentally ill; madness, or extreme foolishness or irrationality.” Einstein once said, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” Both fit where this country is today (the U.S.).

Yesterday, I watched House Republicans and frankly, the House of Representatives, melt down in what can best be described as the food fight scene from the movie Animal House. A small group of Republican House Members decided that overthrowing the Speaker of the House made sense as he didn’t do what they wanted. Hmmm….whatever happened to majority rule and consensus?

Meanwhile, the markets continue to give back any semblance of gains from earlier this year as the House fiddles while the economy (Rome) burns. We have $33 trillion in debt and rising. The carrying cost of this debt is ballooning as interest rates rise. Cyclically, the government borrows money to pay its deficits, going further in debt, and increasing borrowing and spending, to do nothing more than to pay back this same debt (a self-perpetuating inflationary cycle).

Our entitlement spending on Medicare and Social Security (plus) Medicaid, is unsustainable. Both programs have a collapse target on them in the not-too-distant future; Medicare only a couple of years away. Sure, we can just print money to sustain the programs but then again, there’s that definition of insanity. Printing more money is what got us in this mess in the first place (inflation and rising rates).

Meanwhile, back in Congress, agreement on anything substantive is nearly impossible. What seems to be constant is political infighting and the need to somehow, investigate the other guy or gal who is in-charge of something, and is most certainly, a ne’re-do-well. Millions get spent on these fools’ errands with no outcome in sight yet, energy and attention to addressing the real issues facing the economy and society in general, are secondary.

Cities that I once visited often for conferences and fun are unsafe for either. Carrying a gun is not an answer. Homelessness and mental illness clutter the streets and thus, drug use and litter including human feces and urine, are plentiful. Stores are closing due to looting and due to traffic no longer coming to shop – too dangerous. Will cities like San Francisco, Portland, and Chicago every return to their luster and glory (doubtful)?

Meanwhile, back in Congress, more hearings, more investigations, more kicking the can down the road.

Is Biden guilty? Surely of something. I’m just not sure what it is but I do know one thing he is guilty of – poor leadership. Is Trump guilty? Surely of something. I’m just not sure what it is but I do know one thing he is guilty of – unprovoked and uncouth character assassinations. Reagan is rolling over in his grave.

Meanwhile, back in Congress, nothing is getting done to resolve the budget mess that continues to generate deficit spending, higher inflation, and correspondingly higher interest rates.

Let’s be honest, the economy is a mess and both parties are to blame. Gas is rising to nearly $4 a gallon again, diesel too (more than $4 per gallon). Food prices are still increasing, and real wages are not keeping up with inflation, despite whatever talking fin heads are saying. Core GDP doesn’t mean squat for a family and real wages must keep up with full inflation because real people use gasoline for daily commuting and require food to feed themselves and their families.

I could go on, but it is Hump Day, and I am an optimist by nature.  Whether it is the redundant foolishness of non-sensical and ineffective COVID interventions (it is endemic now) or catch and release, no bail policies, or government spending tied to no productive purpose, or allowing any Tom, Dick, or Harry to walk across the southern border, unvetted, and then free to travel anywhere in the U.S., we sure are a self-fulfilling prophesy of insanity these days.  If common sense were to walk into Congress, I’m sure they’d seek to investigate it too.

Happy Hump Day and if this little rant resonates, feel free to share.  I’ll close with what I think is the best quote to end this post from a real optimist.  It comes from Will Rodgers.

The American people are a very generous people and will forgive almost any weakness, with the possible exception of stupidity. You can’t legislate intelligence and common sense into people. You can’t broaden a man’s vision if he wasn’t born with one.

Will Rogers Portrait From The Early 1930'S. Photo Print - Item #  VAREVCPBDWIROEC003H - Posterazzi

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