What Comes After COVID-19?
Years ago my Grandfather Jasper predicted what we see today
I was born in 1935, the same year that Social Security was "born."
For all the good that the Social Security program has done over the years, and I am one of its retirement beneficiaries, for it has shored up our existing capital-based system, my grandfather predicted how much it would change the way future generations of Americans would live.
He said, "We will never get this country back to the way it has always been. Until now, when times got tough, families moved back to the farm and took care of themselves. From now on, when times get tough, people will move to the cities and expect the government to take care of them!"
Look around now. Inflation will be the inevitable result of a Congressional leadership determined to solve America's problems by uncontrolled spending, because the American people are looking to their federal, state, and local governments to cure not only a virulent virus, but also "cure" all their financial challenges.
Traditional wisdom had counseled them to "Save during the good times." Our first president, President George Washington, well before Social Security, said that we might need to go into debt in times of war, but when peace was restored "pay off that debt." Debt destroys. Our current National Debt would have been inconceivable to President Washington then, and most Americans have no conception of it now, even before its massive growth in the COVID-19 crisis.
For years and years, politicians have promised more and more benefits in exchange for people's votes, not regarding world history that shows societies such as ours always failed when the people realized that all they had to do was to vote for whatever they wanted, regardless of its cost and the resulting growing debt that must one day come due.
Today some state governments are in better shape than others. Those in good shape were savers with "Rainy Day Fund" surpluses set aside for inevitable future emergencies. Those in bad shape were built on those vote-buying promises of "the better life you all deserve" regardless of the hidden costs and debts they built up.
George Washington was right, and his farewell warnings used to be read at the opening of every new Congress. It is no longer read at those times, perhaps because it became too patently obvious, or embarrassing, that too few legislators were paying any attention to his advice.
Our urban lot is an example of what nature, a steady, small investment, and some caring, can provide, not in partnership with government, but in partnership with dirt, sunshine and rain, when people are determined to be self-reliant for their basic needs.
We could tell our fellow citizens what to do, but showing them seems better. It may be a little late, but at least now some of them might be prepared to listen.
Our president of today has declared this a war on the COVID-19 virus. He, and others, say a victory and peace will eventually follow. If we are to be prepared for any future emergencies, the debts from this "war" will need to be paid, and the economy restored. That will take following our first president's advice, and repaying those debts.
If we also adjust our own individual lives by "Saving in the good times" and investing in some basic self-reliance, we ourselves ought to also be better prepared the next time around.
That "next time around" will definitely come. History proves it, even if it took almost 85 years for what my grandfather (and President Washington years before) foresaw would come to pass.
One thing is certain, history has an enduring habit of repeating itself.
What is next?
One other thing is certain, tomorrow will not be the same as today or yesterday. Some people want a government that takes them on its shoulders and is responsible for everything. Remember that "A government strong enough to give you everything you want, is also strong enough to take everything that you have."
Meanwhile, the ultimate responsibility for ourselves and our families is ours. Our form of government still struggles to live up to our concept of "liberty and justice for all." Until that day comes, we hardly have a right to expect it to also guarantee our individual financial well-being and prosperity, only our right to pursue our own lives, prosperity, and happiness. That pursuit is one we are responsible for, with such help as others may offer us.
Are we making progress? Judge for yourself, but keep this analysis in mind: https://soapboxie.com/us-politics/Americas-Future-to-2020 .
© 2020 Demas W Jasper