Thursday, November 22, 2012

From dissatisfaction to disdain

Reality has never involved politics and economy having an ability to meet ever-increasing expectations, though many political and economical theorists have for many a decade argued just so. When huge parts of the western workforce was employed non-publicly funded and when industry was in abundance, came wealth and immense state revenue never seen before in the history of mankind. In the intervening time, as judgement was impaired by over-optimism, politics across the spectrum started adapting to the imaginative world views. Gullibility replaced sober administration.

Since reality is not optional, many are now waking up to a world where they have a hard time making ends meet, as they had expected more. Simultaneously a manic generation is retiring, and has become accustomed to the riches described in the paragraph above. Meanwhile some western heads of states claim that the crisis is over, others keep increasing debt and yet more are firing up the money printing press - undermining the very "trust" that has replaced the gold standard.

What any earnest and clear-headed leader with intact morality should do is quite the opposite: Explain how much it costs to run the state's primary undertakings, that it ought to focus on these first rather than granting wishes, and that the country needs to balance budgets - imports and exports, revenue and spending - both because no other country on the planet wants to pay for our standard of living, and because real poverty always hit those at the bottom the hardest. A political leader with dignity would obviously also make clear what hard work it takes to maintain our society and the toil behind building welfare.

Otherwise the people will continue to expect the impossible, why should they not when their chosen leaders cling to it. The contempt for politicians will increase as they cannot in any way keep their promises. Extremism and dark ideologies with utopian commitments will follow.

Laurits Andersen Ring (1854-1933) Landevejen ved Maagenstrup/Road near Maagenstrup (1888).