You want control. Control of your life, your money, your thoughts, your wealth, your appetites, your desires and passions, etc. Control is the thing. It is prudent to keep the main thing the main thing.
The late statesman H.I. Mencken wrote, “The urge to save humanity is almost always only a false-face for the urge to rule it.” So beware of those who proclaim they have the ideas, techniques, or products that will save you or your financial future if you give them control over your money. On the contrary if you can find someone that wants to empower you by teaching you about ideas, techniques or products that you can then use, you have found someone you should stick with.
Kenny Rogers’s old hit song “The Gambler” hints at the main thing when he sings, “You got to know when to hold them, know when fold them, know when to show up, know when to walk away and know when to run. You never count your money when you’re sitting at the table. There’ll be time enough for counting when the dealings done.”
The big idea “The Gambler” is trying to teach is self control vs. being controlled. Yet, today as Robert A Sirico stated; “Most intellectuals in the world are aware of what socialism did to Russia. And yet many still cling to the socialist idea.” Of course socialism is first and foremost the scheme to propagate fear so that central control (greed), can regulate society. This is the very opposite of what made the American experiment so explosively successful; creating more wealth in 100 years than had been created in more than 6000 years of human civilization.
So what in the world happened? Simply this, too many individuals forgot that serving yourself is a good thing. As Zig Ziglar states, “You can get everything in life you want if you’ll just help enough other people get what they want. The brilliant economist Ludwig von Mises wrote, “Under capitalism everybody provides for their own needs by serving the needs of others.” Who needs a central body of “do-gooders” telling each of us what our neighbor needs. Isn’t it you and I who see them every day? Aren’t we the ones who can relate with them and find out if they need food and clothing today or just a friendly face in their lives? Do we really need central planners controlling what we can and can’t do for and with our neighbors?
Let me give you an example. I have a good friend who is a doctor. In 1986 he had the luxury (and often did) gift his services to a patient that he could see was in desperate need of his medical training. But after 2001, if he gave his services away to one person in a specific group called Medicare and charged another person in that same group; my friend would have committed a federal offense and in danger of fines, penalties and yes jail time. The central planners have dictated that if he gave services away to one in that specific group then all members of that group would need to receive that service for free too. Who was my friend to think that he was smart enough to identify the real needs of any of his patients? If the truth be known, this centrally devised policy, only serves the policy makers and not the individuals the policy was supposedly designed to serve. How can denying needed care to an individual help individuals?
Financial and banking regulations are really no different. Central regulations and monetary policy effect each and every financial transaction made today. How can such central planning really help individuals? They can’t help individuals anymore than denying the right to a Medicare patient to receive care can help anybody. Can’t help anybody except the central planners. And how does it help the central planners? By giving them power, power over the lives and livelihoods of others! This is always a scary and chilling thing because as Frederic Bastiat stated; “The State is the great fiction by which everybody tries to live at the expense of everybody else.” And eventually this mindset, if it progresses, will destroy a society, country or even an entire world.
Because of our lack of financial education, a chief aim of this column, we are becoming less and less in control of ourselves and our finances. A person who is a debtor to a creditor does not have much autonomy when it comes to the amount owed. The debtor must pay it back and rightfully should. We cannot think we can live at the expense of everyone else and have no personal responsibility.
Keep reading to be financially equipped to be in control instead of controlled. But as teaser, you have to take control of the financing and banking function in your life. Someone is always going to do that task, either yourself or you will abdicate it and while the other person does it for you, they make the money NOT you.