Rathbun: Choosing a president or a physicianWritten by Gary Rathbun | | GaryRathbun@PrivateWealthConsultants.com
As I was listening to the State of the Union address in connection with all of the campaigning of the Republican candidates, I couldn’t help but think about what we base our choice on and if we would use similar criteria for choosing a physician.
Let’s say you need a new doctor and you start interviewing them. Each one promises you wonderful health and a long life if only you will choose him as your doctor. Now let’s go the next step and say that you know there is something wrong and it feels serious. Do you want a doctor to tell you the truth or do you want to hear something that is intended to placate you but not really fix the problem?
I hear the politicians tell me that they will lower my interest rate on my mortgage, provide health care, lower my college tuition, educate my children, eliminate the interest on my student loans, create a job for me, provide a comfortable retirement, provide cheap energy, feed me and my children three meals a day, give me a free cell phone, eliminate fees for bank services, make my house weatherproof, protect my investments from losing any value, lower the national debt, eliminate the annual deficit, prevent Iran from getting nuclear weapons, and finally provide a settlement on the moon within eight years.
There are surely many more but I started my day today by giving up my fourth amendment rights to the TSA on the way to the land of sunshine where people think 30 miles an hour is fast.
Are we really going to elect our president or re-elect our president based on the promises above that might appeal to us?
America is sick. We need strong medicine to get well. More importantly, we need a doctor/leader that will oversee the treatment and do what is necessary.
You cannot cure obesity by increasing your caloric intake. You cannot lower your cholesterol by increasing your intake of red meat or lower your sugar by eating M&M’s. Similarly, you cannot lower the deficit by spending. You cannot lower the national debt by borrowing more money.
However, you can lower the unemployment rate by shrinking the workforce every month. You can lower inflation by not counting the items most affected by increasing the money supply. You can create jobs by extending unemployment benefits, and of course you can administer justice by suspending habeas corpus.
Using the same logic you can cure the disease by killing the patient. Eliminate tooth decay by extracting someone’s teeth, and cure baldness by shaving everyone’s head.
The can is now too large to kick any further down the road. We need to deal with this problem now and we need to deal with it realistically and decisively or we will never be able to recover and be the America that we once was and the America the world needs us to be again.
The cure is very simple, although not very easy; encourage the free market to do what it does. As I said last time, 98 percent of all of the companies in this country have fewer than 100 employees. It is in these companies that all of the new jobs will be created. They received no bailouts nor do they want any. They are not large enough to control the market in their sector and hence not large enough to be involved in crony capitalism with the government.
They just want to be left alone to produce their product or service. They are not greedy; they are ambitious. Regardless of what the government does, we need to invest in these companies, both from an investment aspect but also from purchasing their goods and services.