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The Value of a Dollar

Posted by on April 21, 2012
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The other day I was listening to a friend tell the story of how he spent almost a full hour haggling over the price of a piece of furniture he was looking to purchase at a yard sale.  The total difference between his offer and the owners counter off during the entire standoff was only $20.  Intrigued by his story I asked him if he had ever gone to such extremes before when he had negotiated much bigger deals, like perhaps his car.  His response was that he would never walk away from a car deal over a mere $20.  I found this to be a rather interesting response.  After all, the value of $20 remains the same regardless of the total size of the deal it is associated with. If you listen to the media describing some of the more recent scandals such as the GSA fiasco and Solyndra you would think that these are boring irrelevant affairs.  After all, $500 Million is a drop in the bucket to a government that spends over $3 Trillion annually.  The problem is, just as I illustrated above, the value of $500 Million doesn’t change just because the size of government does.  The media will further try to persuade you to believe that these are isolated incidences so they are no big deal.  The problem is that corruption in government tends to spread like cockroaches.  You may only spot a few, but it’s a sure bet that hundreds more are hiding in the darkness yet to be discovered. The Left likes to talk about how corrupt corporations are, and I will grant you that not everyone plays fair in a capitalist society.  What the Left doesn’t like to discuss though is corruption within government.  If I have to choose between the lesser of these two evils, I’ll choose the corporations.  If Wal-Mart or McDonalds is corrupt, we always have the option of not shopping, working at, or investing in those companies in order to minimize the affects of their corrupt ways.  Unfortunately, governments are basically monopolies.  Therefore, their corruption directly affects us all with no chance of escape. I’m not a conspiracy theorist, but I am a pragmatist.  I’m smart enough to realize that the larger government becomes the less accountability that is realized.  The attitude becomes one of “so what are a few wasted bucks here and there?”  So a few $ Billion went missing inIraq, big deal.  As it turns out, in real dollar value it is a big deal regardless of how much we spent there in total.  Those few $ Billion wasted were a few $ Billion that didn’t need to be confiscated from their rightful owners, the taxpayers.  We are told that Bernie Maddoff was the worst swindler of all times.  However, our unwieldy out of control government makes Bernie Maddoff look like a tent revival evangelist.
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