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God Promised to Drain the Swamp

Feb 8, 2017

27

To loose the bonds of injustice, to undo the thongs of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke. - Isaiah 58:1-12

BALTIMORE - The swamp is where the injustice arises. It's where the win-lose deals are forced onto people. It is where waste, corruption, and larceny steal their time and money.

We don't have to know whether a new law or new policy will actually do what its proponents say it will do. We just have to ask: Win-lose? Or win-win?

In the 'public' space, as a general rule, deals must be win-win...or the average person will lose. Thou shalt not steal. Thou shalt not kill. Thou shalt not do win-lose deals.

Why?

Because only win-win deals add to wealth, choice, and prosperity.

In a private deal, you can make money by taking it from someone else. But not everyone can make money that way. So, as a general rule or policy, it won't work. It won't make the average person better off.

In fact, it will make him worse off. Partly because of the friction, waste, and disincentives it creates. And partly because the average guy is never the winner in a win-lose deal.

Who feels the burden of the yoke? Who is the victim of injustice?

Is it Wall Street, with its millions in contributions to the feds and its key men filling the most powerful posts in the administration? No.

Or the Northern Virginia military/security insiders who have received as much as $50 trillion (in today's dollars) of taxpayers' money since World War II? No.

What about the cronies with their insider deals? The zombies with their payoffs and hush money? The Washington-New York-California establishment? No, no, and no.

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Holdup Men, Shysters, and Bully Boys

We've gotten considerable feedback onĀ our formula. Some good...some bad...and some that leaves us scratching our head. (Modestly, we'll put our formula up against Thomas Piketty's silly 'r>g' formula any day.)

[Editor's Note: In his book Capital in the Twenty-First Century, Piketty surmised that returns on capital (r) grow faster than the economy (g).]

Ours is not a universal formula, however. It is not like the second law of thermodynamics or 'All you need is love'. It is just a description of how a civilised economy works.

And it seems to lead to a shocking and impossible conclusion. If win-win is good and win-lose is bad...why do we have a government at all? Every one of the government's deals is win-lose.

'Did you know that there are robber bees?' asked a local beekeeper on Saturday. 'They don't gather honey. They just steal it from other hives. We have to keep an eye out for them.'

Yes, dear reader, there are bees that practice win-lose, too. The robber bees win. The robbed bees have less.

Our formula doesn't tell us what to do about them... It only tells us that we'd be better off without them. And we'll accept the cost of preventing and deterring them, doing our best to keep it as low as possible.

But that's just life, isn't it? There are inevitably some holdup men, shysters, and bully boys. And, as far as we know, there is inevitably government.

Some win-lose deals - imposed by the feds - may be necessary. But what the formula tells us is that Jefferson was right: The fewer of them you have, the better off you are.

'The government that governs best,' he said, 'governs least.'

For Trump to govern well, he must reduce the reach of government. He must drain the swamp.

He must chase the moneylenders out of the temple...send the soldiers back to their barracks...and stop old people from exploiting the young.

Tall order? You betcha...

More tomorrow...

Regards,
BILL BONNER Founder, Agora Inc
Bill


Bill Bonner is the President & Founder of Agora Inc, an international publisher of financial and special interest books and newsletters.

Disclaimer: The views mentioned above are of the author only. Data and charts, if used, in the article have been sourced from available information and have not been authenticated by any statutory authority. The author and Equitymaster do not claim it to be accurate nor accept any responsibility for the same. The views constitute only the opinions and do not constitute any guidelines or recommendation on any course of action to be followed by the reader. Please read the detailed Terms of Use of the web site.

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1 Responses to "God Promised to Drain the Swamp"

Piyush Gupta

Feb 8, 2017

The surveys that you have quoted are far from reality. What has happened is the disappearance of fictitious workers being paid fictitious salaries thereby creating black money for the small businesses !

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