The 2008 Presidential Election
It seems as each election comes and goes, more and more time is spent by politicians, beginning earlier and earlier, to sell us on the idea that they are what's best for this country. Being as how this is the first election that I've used my recently developed critical thinking skills towards, it baffles me how much "hope" and "faith" we put into another fallible human being. The position and power of the U.S. presidency has grown so enourmously over the last century that it sickens me to think how much damage one person could ultimately do to our lives. The centralization of power in Washington, and power and corruption displayed by our "leaders" should have our founders rolling around at lightning speeds in their graves. I'm saddened to see what the federal government, what government everywhere, has become these days. We have an immoral and quagmire of a war, wire-tapping, eminent domain, Patriot acts, 10 trillion dollars of debt, money as stable as that found in the game of Monopoly, wasteful spending, and worst of all, ignorance of basic economic principles by the political class. It's maddening to me to see how much power the government has over our lives and our means. On a positive note, here's an article looking at all the progress the human race has made, outside of government.
The Financial Crisis / Auto Bail-out
We have the government to thank for most recessions and depressions, including the 1929 crash and following depression, and especially for the recent debacle. The fact is plain, when the government interferes in the market, negative consequences follow. One of the worst consequences of government interference, even when regulating, is a concept called "moral hazard". What is moral hazard? Moral hazard is everyone learning to lower their guard because if anything bad happens to them, the government will play Superman and come to the rescue. This happens on the personal, local, and national levels. It's the belief that government is the great protector of the universe and will make us whole in the event of a loss. Without this role played by the government, people and businesses would do what is neccesary to protect themselves and be stronger for it. Of course this doesn't mean there won't be fraud, but it certainly means fraud would be harder and disincetivized to commit as everyone would be wiser. Moral hazard also reduces quality and efficiency in the market. If a company, no matter how big, is so inefficient and unproductive, leading to a decline in competitiveness, loses market share to other companies, that know how to satisfy consumers, and is given a break by the government (who has no money of it's own, mind you), then not only is it an unfair business practice, but both taxpayers and consumers pay the price. And the ones it hurts the worse are the poor, as the wealthy can manage. Moral hazard has gotten so commonplace and rampant in our country that I fear a complete breakdown of government may be the only thing to stop it. Keep in mind however, that there are other silver linings to that scenario.
My own personal growth and increase in knowledge in such areas as economics, politics, and personal finance have made 2008 a year to appreciate and remember. I have developed my understanding of the principles of liberty, and of such economic thought as that taught by the so-named Austrian school. I have been better prepared with logic and reason for those I've had conversations and debates with regarding politics and economics. I vow to continue building those skills and my knowledge of truth in the world, and to continue to stand up and fight for both personal and economic liberty for all.
My wife and my relationship has grown and we have grown closer together. My son has gotten bigger and has made me so proud to know him and have him in my life. I am full of so much love for my family that I pray every night that I can be the best husband and father to them. My wife has made a giant accomplishment in passing her test to obtain citizenship in this country. I hope that I can be an influence to both of them to love and support the principles of liberty and limited government found in the U.S. Constitution.
Well that's it. I am sure there's more but that is all I can think of writing about right now. It's time to put the year behind us and march forth in honesty, integrity, and strength in fighting for our liberty!