Belmont Club

Here's the problem, Al

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Here’s the problem as I see it, Al. Before you start believing that somebody is going to feed you a seven course meal, you’ve got to see whether he has money in his pocket.  If he doesn’t then somebody’s just handed you a bouncing check. The government despite everything you might have thought, doesn’t have any money. It just handles the money, Al, like the bank teller handles money.  And right about now the bank teller you’ve been counting on to buy you that seven course meal has just about mis-appropriated so much of the client’s money that nobody’s making any more deposits to mis-handle. There’s not going to be a seven course meal, Al.

You’ll be lucky to get macaroni and cheese.

There is no big store-room in Washington DC piled high with gold, jewels and cash.

All the money the guy who’s promised to “start feeding you” comes from someone else.  He doesn’t have any of his own. There’s no stash. And even if you got all the money from that someone else, via the guy who’s promised to “start feeding you”, it would never be enough to “know that your livelihood was taken care of and your children were taken care of and you had all of your health care need covered”.

Besides Al, has it ever occurred to you that you might be that someone else from whom the money comes? Because the source of all that money comes from income taxes and sales taxes and stuff like that. And unless you’re figuring on never paying any then what money are you talking about? Ok. Maybe you’re talking about payments made by other people. But you’ve got to know, Al, you of all people, that there’s no way one set of guys are going to keep taking from another set of guys without trouble stirring up. And then where are you going to get the money from?

The other thing is that somebody else is moving in to take not just the lunch, but the lunch wagon away. Maybe if we lived in a world without China, in a world without India or in a world where oil was free then nobody should care. But the fact is the Chinese and the Indians are taking over all the businesses you’ve ruined or shaken down into the ground. And what do you think’s going to happen when all the lunch wagons are owned by the Indians and the Chinese? Do you think they’re going to listen to you, Al? Do you think they’re going to listen to the guy who’s “starting to feed” you?

The check’s going to bounce, Al. It’ s no good. The whole checkbook is printed on rubber. There’s no free lunch. We’re all of us in a jam. And the only way out of this is to stop banking on those big schemes that aren’t ever going to happen. That can of beans you’ve been promised is empty. All it’s got is a piece of paper in it saying “all the beans you can eat”.

We have to work our way out of this hole. Otherwise it won’t just be macaroni and cheese. We’ll be eating the box. But it’s a tough sell.  After all, who’s going to believe a politician who says “I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat?”  It’s a lot easier to vote for the guy who says he’s got a piece of paper that says “peace in our time”.  Except it doesn’t work.


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