Country's $16 trillion debt lesson in basic economics

info@islandpacket.comJanuary 17, 2013 

Washington is focusing on the debt ceiling.

We learn in high school that wealth is only created when raw materials are converted into things people need and want.

A South Carolina high school diploma requires a course in economics, whose syllabus states, "... While inequities will always exist, it is not the role of government to eliminate these inequities, but rather to provide for economic opportunity ..."

Wealth creation occurs in the private sector and not in the public sector. Activities such as farming, manufacturing, transportation and construction create wealth. Government positions, such as bureaucrats, the military and the police, while necessary, consume wealth. Even some private positions -- lawyers, accountants and tourism jobs -- essentially perform voluntary wealth redistribution.

President Barack Obama and many in Congress lack the background or experiences to understand these timeless economic principles.

Some 66 million Americans receive government assistance, not counting Medicare or Social Security. That includes food stamps, housing assistance, child care, Medicaid, unemployment, energy assistance and disability. Some 21 million Americans work for the government. Only 109 million Americans work in the private sector. So the 55 percent producing wealth are carrying the other 44 percent.

As we continue to redistribute the wealth of America from those who have produced it to those who have not, we slow the decrease in overall standards of living by borrowing huge amounts of money from our future.

If the people deciding our destiny don't understand basic economics, how can we expect them to make the right decisions?

Rob Pollard

Lady's Island

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