Thursday, January 8, 2015

Save our sacrifices for when we really need them

Austerity, rationing, and "shared sacrifice" belongs to the realm of real resources, not to money or the readily-available things that money can procure.

If we run out of oil, we'll need sacrifices to ration oil until there are alternatives, such as more electric vehicles and public transportation.

If we have drought or disease that creates food shortages, we may need to ration and sacrifice to share the food until the next harvest.

If we run out of peace, we may need to sacrifice to restore freedom, as in World War II. 

But we have created rationing arbitrarily based on a perceived lack where none really exists, or where it can be easily remedied through the right incentive structures and funding. 

For example, there is a prevalent idea that we don't have the resources to provide health care for all citizens, so we have to either ration economically (i.e. only the rich get it), or via the government choosing who gets it.

But why do we say we can't train enough doctors and nurses to care for everyone? Are there not enough people who desire this career or is it just that we don't provide the path for them to get there or the incentives to make it worthwhile? 

Remember, a sovereign nation can always create the money necessary to pay for the full deployment of resources within that country. 

It's our narrow thinking and allegiance to bad economic ideas that clouds our vision and leaves huge segments of our society living as paupers when we have abundance all around us.

So how can we provide health care for all?

  • We can pay for the education of as many doctors and nurses as we need if education costs are the reason for a lack of trained care givers.
  • We can provide salaries at a level needed to attract them to the field.
  • We can build medical facilities in under-served areas of cities and states.
  • We can credit health savings accounts for all citizens with money to pay for health care.
  • We can underwrite the costs of expensive and critical care.

The same applies to the unemployed in all fields. We say there isn't the money to employ them because the private sector hasn't found them jobs, but it isn't as though we have nothing productive for people to do in society. And it isn't as though we can't credit bank accounts with money from our national monetary system that was created for this very purpose. We have simply chosen not to because our outdated economic ideas tell us we shouldn't. 

Money is never scarce for sovereign nations. We can always afford whatever is for sale in our currency, including all kinds of labor. Even doctors and professors. Scarcity is for real resources - never for money. We certainly may need to sacrifice, ration, and share if we run into constraints of real resources, but let's save the austerity for then (and work hard to develop the alternatives and protections now so that we can prevent such scarcity in the first place!)

It is the height of folly to hold a nation in economic poverty while its real resources lie idle.

If it makes sense, then spread the word. Ignorance is a cruel master that must be overthrown with truth.