Monday, October 7, 2013

Useful Idiots

I was working on a blog post a few days ago about the debt-to-GDP ratio and how useless it is as a debt service metric when I realized just how fucking boring it was! No doubt I'll eventually post it, but only 2% of the population will care and there's a good chance that none of my blog readers will.

It made me realize that I need to focus on the stuff that people might care about. That's going to be tough because most people just don't care about politics. For instance, I'm constantly reminded that there are millions of American's out there that are completely clueless about federal budgeting and the continuing resolution process given the current government shutdown. Instead, they treat the political process like a Red Sox versus Yankees rivalry rather than a substantive argumentative process meant to accomplish meaningful policy that will enhance the nation or at least move us forward as a nation.

Here are some basics that most American's don't seem to know.

  • All revenue generating bills must originate in the House of Representatives. (see Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution)
  • The Senate is required, by law, to create a budget each fiscal year (they haven't done it in 4 years)
  • The Federal Reserve Act prohibits the Federal Reserve Bank from lending directly to the U.S. Treasury

I don't expect everyone to be as passionate as I am about politics, or especially the outcome of the recent government shutdown. However, some talk the talk but can't walk the walk. I sometimes let myself get caught in conversations with these "useful idiots" until at some point I realize they have no idea what they are talking about. They are merely spouting cliché political phrases or rooting for what they consider to be the home team. I'd give examples but that's not important. What is important is that my time is precious and I can't waste it having meanless conversations with someone that has the intellectually curiosity of a 3 year old.

More importantly, what am I going to do with all this knowledge I'm accumulating. I haven't figured that out yet, but stay tuned! By the way, I'm a Red Sox fan and actually do care about them as well. Just not as much as politics.

1 comment:

  1. It just occured to me that those basics that I listed really aren't basics at all. They denote a complex understanding of the budgeting issue at hand. Sorry about that.