By Mencken’s Ghost
July 19, 2012
Imagine that you had purchased a 2,500 sq. ft. house in 1980 and sold it this year as a 6,962 sq. ft. house, although the home had not changed in actual size.
Would you be accused of fraud?
No, not if the U.S. government had shrunk the official size of a foot in the intervening years from 12 inches to 4.3 inches, so that it now takes 2.78 times as many feet to represent what used to be represented by one foot in 1980.
You might be thinking that it is farfetched to imagine that the government would change this basic unit of measurement. After all, such a change would make it very difficult to compare sizes from one year to the next and would create massive distortions in the economy and opportunities for fraud and mischief.
Of course that’s what the government has done under both political parties to an equally important unit of measurement: the dollar. It now takes 2.78 dollars to buy what used to be bought for a dollar in 1980. And it takes 23.18 dollars to buy what used to be bought for a dollar in 1913, when the Federal Reserve was ostensibly established to protect the value of the dollar. (Actually it was established as a cartel to protect its member banks.)
Yet in the face of this currency debauchery in the land of the brave and home of the free, the supposed brave and free don’t storm the Federal Reserve and Congress. Instead, having been taught nonsense about government by government employees in government schools, they follow the presidential campaign on TV, where the possibility of seeing something of substance is limited by the airing of over 40 inane commercials per hour, including odious ones about belly fat and erections.
Just as Americans apparently believe that magical pills will cure flaccidity and melt belly fat, they believe that their economic salvation can be had by the magical pill of voting for one political party or the other, when, in fact, both parties are in the driveway stealing the wheels off their car and splitting the loot.
Although Greeks, Italians and Spaniards are just as addicted to easy money, credit, free stuff, and make-work jobs, at least they riot in the streets periodically to keep their masters worried about being impaled on pitchforks
The political choices in America are as follows:
Democrats: a nutty assortment of busybodies, economic illiterates, moochers, control freaks, and those with an incurable fetish for fairness, social justice, and equal outcomes.
Republicans: a nutty assortment of busybodies, economic illiterates, moochers, control freaks, and those with an incurable fetish for combat boots, uniforms, and badges.
Independents: a nutty assortment of busybodies, economic illiterates, moochers, control freaks, and those whose fetishes alternate between fairness, social justice, and equal outcomes on the one hand, and combat boots, uniforms, and badges on the other.
Libertarians: a nutty assortment of nut cases who want to live and let live, who are economic literate, who want to be self-sufficient, and who have an incurable fetish for freedom from government coercion, not realizing that Democrats, Republicans, and Independents will never let their utopian fantasy become reality.
At least the libertarian fetish is not harmful. It is the only fetish that isn’t bankrupting the nation and shrinking the unit of measure. Unfortunately, libertarianism runs counter to human nature.
Due to some genetic mutation, libertarians aren’t human. They don’t need a strong, virile, commanding, domineering alpha male or hirsute female as president to send tingles up their legs or to engender nationalistic fevers. They also don’t need magical pills for erections and belly fat.
If you need those things, then vote for Obama or Romney.
Mencken’s Ghost is the nom de plume of an Arizona writer who can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.