“If language is not correct, then what is said is not what is meant; if what is said is not what is meant, then what must be done remains undone; if this remains undone, morals and art will deteriorate; if justice goes astray, the people will stand about in helpless confusion. Hence there must be no arbitrariness in what is said. This matters above everything.”
What happens to a society whose public discourse has become such an utter perversion of truth that the people can no longer even grasp solid reality?
If Confucius was correct, then, dear readers, we must conclude that our America is in for some very, very, very, very tough times ahead.
For in present-day America, the language we use to describe our realities has come so far afield anything even remotely resembling objective truth that we are little more than walking, talking idiots. It has become nearly impossible to distinguish a truthful statement from an outright lie.
And, no, this sorry state of affairs did not begin with Bill Clinton’s contortions over the meaning of “is.” It did not even begin with Richard Nixon’s famous, full-broadcast TV declaration, “I am not a crook.”
Perhaps the most threatening venue of this language perversion is in the two words now being bandied about in these times of economic distress the way men once invoked the pagan gods of Rome.
Two words. Just two. Yet they may be the most dangerous two words ever uttered by a heretofore sane people.
What’s paying for the ill-founded decisions of financial institutions now in meltdown mode? “Government money.”
What’s going to save the day for corporations that gave more pension and benefit promises than they could ever keep? “Government money.”
What’s going to solve the economic woes of every city, county, and state government that provided too many services with too little a tax base and is now facing bankruptcy? “Government money.”
What’s going to pay the bill for all the years of excessive greed and largess of corrupt politicians, government bureaucrats, and business executives? “Government money.”
What’s going to pay for every slacker and debt-skipping Tom, Dick, and Harry within these 50 United States? “Government money.”
What’s the deep well of bounty that never goes dry? “Government money.”
Just Google these two words, “government money,” and you’ll see more than 36,000,000 entries. “God” still gets 541,000,000, but “government money” is gaining fast.
The heavenly neighborhoods of the United States’ founders and patriots are screaming like bloody banshees! Screaming down at the pack of mongrel idiots who’ve spawned this delusion and sold it to the current generation of American people.
I can hear them in Atlanta. Can you hear them in your town? If you can’t, then you need to get yourself a history book written before 1960 — and get it quickly.
Sit down. Take a deep breath. Brace yourself.
The words you’re hearing and reading everywhere you turn in America right now — “government money” — these words are meaningless. They are a cruel delusion. There is no such thing as “government money.”
Our government does not now have, nor has it ever had, a single penny of its own. Our government makes no goods. Our government provides no saleable service. Our government has never, ever, ever, ever produced a single commodity or penny of wealth for anyone under the sun.
Our government is nothing really but a mooching relative permanently taking up residence upon our living room couch, eating our food, drinking our beer, consuming our munchies, and leaving us nothing but its garbage.
Every now and then, our government rouses itself from mooch-dom enough to use our money to provide the services they owe — such as roads, firefighting, trash collection, protection from crime, etc. But sadly, even when actually providing a service they owe us, they still manage to over-mooch on our good graces, wasting our money frivolously and lining their own pockets with loot at the same time.
Truly, any people deluded into believing that “government money” is going to rescue them would be far better served by believing that Pegasus is going to fly in and offer up financial salvation on a silver platter. At least that delusion is somewhat fanciful and rather artistic.
My first encounter with this insidious delusion was working as a secretary in 1970 for the School of Civil Engineering at Georgia Tech. My husband was a football player there and my boss was a fanatical lover of football. It’s doubtful that my flimsy resume (no experience, no references, minimal typing skills) would have passed muster if my rather generous salary did not come from “government money.”
During my two-year tenure on the “government money” payroll, I learned the foundational error that now greatly accounts for the financial meltdown of America and a public debt of nearly a trillion dollars.
This ain’t rocket science, and one need not be named Friedman or Bernanke to get it.
Our civil engineering department had a yearly budget, paid for by “government money.” The object of the budget writers was to get more money in the coming year than they had gotten in the last year. To this end, whenever the fiscal year’s end approached, there was a mad dash — fully sanctioned by every university employee, from the president to the deans to the department heads to the lowliest secretary — to spend, spend, spend until not a single penny was left in the budget unspent.
Frivolous, wasteful, purely gluttonous spending on completely unnecessary things was the order of the day and every employee got quickly into the hang of it. Imagine an outlandishly high credit limit on a credit card for which the bills never arrive at one’s own door. No luxury was considered too luxurious in the mad dash to spend every penny of allocated “government money.” The theory was that if a budget wasn’t spent out, then the higher-up bureaucrats would cut next year’s budget instead of increasing it.
I never again worked on any government payroll, but I’ve known lots of others who have. I’ve heard tales from career government workers that have nearly made my head spin.
What’s been so carelessly sown must now be reaped. We are the only source of “government money.” The laugh’s on us.
And the medicine we’ll be forced to take will not be easily swallowed — no matter how much sugar we add to the spoon.