Lessons from History

Too many seem to have forgotten that the government only has money it takes from the people - one way or another.

Lessons from History

On my podcast listening walks I often come across some wonderful insights about history and how it applies to our current experience. The comments are regularly made from an American context but sometimes the wisdom is universal.

I had one such experience this week listening to a chap named Peter Schiff who was talking with Joe Rogan.

Rogan, for those who don't know is a podcasting legend (particularly among the younger generation) who recently signed a $100 million podcasting contract with Spotify. He's not always my cup of tea but he does get some great guests. One thing Rogan and I do have in common is an enjoyment of  fight sports (particularly Mixed Martial Arts).

Anyway, Schiff covered so many good and important topics with Rogan but a few things really stood out. Here are some gems.

"The government only has money it takes from the people - one way or another"

That is so true. Whatever the government spends - or gives to you for 'free' -  is based on someone else's contribution. If the money is borrowed then the contribution comes from someone  in the future. That's an important point to remember as we rapidly approach $1 trillion of national debt to prop our lifestyles up today.

Schiff made the point that things were different in generations past. People were more prepared for adversity and hardship. They had savings for a rainy day, practiced thrift and prudence.

"Average Americans had lots of money in the bank. They weren’t loaded up with debt. The didn’t have credit card debt. They didn’t have student loans. They didn’t have car loans. They were solvent. Even after the Great Depression, they were solvent.

How different things are today. It seems that most people are living week to week and many businesses are in the same precarious financial position. Debt levels are so high that if the money stops, even for a short time, many have nothing to fall back on.

Perhaps, I am chasing points of view that agree with my own but Schiff has come to a similar conclusion to me on the real problem with current events.

"We are compounding the mistakes of the past with much bigger mistakes...The free market would have never screwed us up this much. It was government interference in the free market.”

Now I know many readers will likely disagree with Schiff on the free markets but I support those sentiments absolutely. The free market allows peaks and troughs to keep the system balanced. Sure there are winners and losers along the way but that is an important part of avoiding bubbles and busts.

Whenever a government interferes in that process, usually with good intentions, it creates a greater problem down the track.

Massive debts always start with well intentioned smaller debts. The economy busting welfare state always begins with a single targeted program. As governments remove the natural consequences of decisions it always leads to further demands and more good intentions.

But it is very true that the road to hell is paved with good intentions. History teaches us that, or it did until the modern day socialists began to rewrite history to airbrush their own failing..

I have pasted the video from the Rogan podcast below but trigger warning it may not be to everyone's taste.

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