//Knolan’s Knonsense aims to revive the rhetorical & political essayist devoid of party politics. It will not argue points for the Federal agenda from a micro or individual viewpoint, but from a macro or society-at-large viewpoint. Focusing the Federal agenda not for the benefit of the Federation at large is an offense to the Federation itself, for if we wanted the country to focus on a single person, we would have a monarchy.
Knolan’s Knonsense welcomes graft in the form of whisky, beer, and federal tax credits. If this policy offends your sensibilities, you are advised to take it up with Congress for I am merely following by example. //
Man’s first successful trade was Adam’s extra rib to create Eve. His first successful organization was when Adam left Eden with Eve. And ever since, he has realized that trading and organization were the better than going it alone.*
Organizations need a goal, something for which they operate to achieve. Businesses seek to maximize profit over the long-term. Individuals seek to maximize individual, subjective definitions of happiness. Governments, since World War Two, seek to maximize GDP, gross domestic product. (Van den Bergh, J. C. J. M. J. Econ. Psychol. 30, 117–135 (2009)). GDP is the sum of all trades of officially recognized goods and services produced within a country in a year – it is the generally accepted proxy for the health of a country. JFK said that GDP measures “everything except that which makes life worthwhile.”
In 1944, all reliable indicators pointed to that the United States would emerge victorious from the worst period of sustained violence for which we have records.** The United States set out to achieve sustained peace by tying individual countries’ economic futures to each other by way of the Bretton Woods Agreement; today, globalization has achieved what the Joint Chiefs failed to achieve in Viet Nam: Communist Russia is no more***, Communist China is doing everything in her power to make up for Mao genociding the academics, engineers, mathematicians, scientists, and other non-desirables during the Great Cultural Revolution by unabashedly stealing economic Intellectual Property from every possible source, and Socialist Viet Nam joined the WTO in 2007.
It was no accident, then, that the government’s goal of maximizing GDP so closely follows business’ goal of maximizing long-term profit – countries that trade with each other effectively do not go to war, thanks in large part to the Bretton Woods Agreement. Maximizing GDP involves borrowing from the future to inflate trades today while maximizing profit involves careful management of future revenues against future expenses. I must digress for a moment.
It is unassailable that capitalistic enterprises, rather the profit motive, have vastly improved man’s life from a multitude of viewpoints. For instance, I now communicate with you using differing levels of electromagnetic energy instead of differing levels of atmospheric pressure or marking a surface with a staining agent. But, it is a derangement of history to claim that profit alone motivated progress. Scientists since the Great Library of Alexandria, classical physicists since Newton, modern physicists since Einstein, and countless others in all disciplines of the hard and soft sciences search for repeatable experimental proof thru mathematics proving up intuition/theory – understanding the natural universe isn’t the same as bettering the plight of homo sapiens, but it is for purposes of this essay. Jesus, Muhammad, Abraham and Jacob, Gautama Buddha, Confucius, the Brahmans, and countless others contributed mightily and in ways incalculable to the bettering of homo sapiens for nothing whatsoever to do with profit, and a fuller understanding of their contributions is beyond this author.**** There are, then, at least two facets of understanding the plight of homo sapiens, and at least two methods of bettering homo sapiens. But I digress.
The United States government is currently indebted to itself to the tune of 17 and one-third trillion US dollars ($17,340,000,000,000.00), which divides out to approximately $55,000 per citizen, which is >10% more than per capita US income for 2012.
Is this a good thing?
The answer depends chiefly on how the proceeds from those debt sales are being spent and how the burden of servicing that debt is being addressed.
The latter is easily answered by Congress and the Treasury – by issuing more debt. One must keep in mind here that the only limit to this practice is the self-imposed ceiling of debt that Congress imposes upon the Treasury. The Republican Party nearly perverted this ceiling into a form of auto-erotic political asphyxiation. A pity they lacked the balls to follow thru on their promises of stopping the engine of the world, for their underlying premise, that the Legislative & the Executive must stop using their Treasury as Lindsay Lohan used Columbia, should have been a point exceedingly well taken by the American people. Alas, they suffered the same fate as Occupy and Tin Cup – no follow thru. There are infinitely more prudent methods of managing debt-service, but they appeal not to Congress. Alas.
The former returns us to the second grammatical paragraph, and the thesis of this installment of Knolan’s Knonsense:
Collective organizations allow us to do things more efficiently, which is referred to as economies of scale, but there are also diseconomies of scale; the differentiator between the two is when diminishing returns are discovered in the system. Diminishing returns occurs when the next input yields less benefit than the last input. The partnership between government and business must suffer diminishing returns at some point, and at that point the government of the people, by the people, and for the people must shift from existing for the betterment of legal persons to the betterment of natural persons. Moreover, there already exists in the annals of science the ability to replace the metric of governance for the betterment of legal persons, GDP, with a metric of governance for the betterment of natural persons, GPI.
Knolan’s Knonsense sets itself the goal of investigating the derangements of a government for the betterment of legal persons measured by GDP growth. Next, it will look into why the local police forces have replaced and made redundant the National Guard.
*The author does not take Genesis at it’s word, but relates the story to make the point that trading and organization are as thoroughly ingrained in our nature as is looking to the stars for answers whether you believe truth in fact of reality lies in the Bible or the Scientific Method.
**Arguably, post-WWII, pre-Nixon-visit Communist China held the most concentrated violence, there are no truly reliable figures, but accepted estimates suggest Mao killed approximately 65,000,000 Chinese between his rise to power, the Great Leap Forward, and the Great Cultural Revolution. But if not for Nixon’s visit, China would probably still be practicing sustenance agriculture by hand.
***Reaganites love to say that the US out-produced the USSR, but the USSR was so systemically corrupt and mismanaged that collapse was certain.
****Religion is currently the single largest contributing factor to violence in the world, and the Crusades and Inquisitions must be remembered for the sake of scope and prudence; violence in the name of religion is a deplorable derangement of texts and ideals containing immeasurable beauty and wonder and understanding of human nature and happiness.