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Monthly Archives: April 2013

Compare and Contrast

Many were saddened this past week by the passing of the great leader and stateswoman, Margaret Thatcher. Dubbed the “Iron Lady,” she was steadfast in her convictions, and brought her country back from the brink of economic collapse and led them through the Cold War. Whether or not you agree with her methods, it is inarguable that she did what it took to get the job done.

President Obama released a statement about her passing, praising her “moral conviction, unyielding courage and iron will.” He then casually added that he and Michelle were going to “carry on the work to which she dedicated her life,”[1] to which the only rational response is “Are you kidding me?”

A cursory examination of the principles to which Margaret Thatcher dedicated her life will show that they are the opposite of Barack Obama’s. Thatcher believed in self-reliance, individual liberty, the free market, and in being plain-spoken. Obama subscribes to a philosophy of reliance on the government, social justice, more regulation, and equivocation.

Obama believes that society and government’s purpose is to solve our personal problems, saying “The commitments we make to each other – through [social programs]– these things do not sap our initiative; they strengthen us.”[2] Thatcher believed the opposite. She said “the quality of our lives will depend upon how much each of us is prepared to take responsibility for ourselves, and each of us prepared to turn round and help, by our own efforts, those who are unfortunate.” [3]

This is only one example of how their political philosophies are generally polar opposites. Thatcher was dedicated to individualism, and Obama is devoted to collectivism. So what exactly did Obama mean when he said he was going to carry on her work? It means that he’s going to try to follow the Iron Lady’s tradition of getting her own way, no matter what the opposition wants.

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Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?

The Mediterranean country of Cyprus’ finances are in a bad way. So bad, in fact, that they decided to raid private bank accounts to raise funds, and then they tried to prevent runs on the banks by simply shutting them all down. They stole private money from their citizens and then prevented everyone access to what was left. As you can imagine, the decision was not a popular one.

Our country’s finances are also in a bad way. Our national debt is creeping up on the 17 trillion dollar mark, so what is stopping our own government from following Cyprus’ example? Most people think it is unlikely, if only because our own populace is far more heavily armed than that of Cyprus. It’s also unlikely because, with a little patience, they don’t need to seize our bank accounts to take our money.

They’re doing it right now. Every time they print more money to cover their debts, it devalues the money already in circulation. One hundred dollars in your savings account today won’t buy as much as it did a decade ago, and thanks to the government’s mad money printing policy, it won’t go very far a decade from now. So without overtly taking anything from you, they are slowly bleeding money from everyone by simply printing more money for themselves while making yours worth less and less each day.

So how can we, as private citizens, protect our assets from being eroded away, or from outright seizure like the unfortunate people of Cyprus. The old adage of not keeping all your eggs in one basket applies; don’t keep everything in one place. Hard assets, like precious metals or property, will always have value and can’t be simply taken electronically. And having some emergency cash at home will come in handy if you’re ever unable to access your bank accounts, like the Cypriots.

 
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Posted by on April 4, 2013 in Economics

 

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