Failing to Make The Connection

Guest column by Dr. Jim Garrow

corruption1On an almost daily basis we are hit with the huge numbers that government deals in. Billions and trillions of dollars are such large amounts that they become a haze and a fog that allows something quite unfortunate to take place. We forget that each dollar came out of the pocket of one of us. Yes, each dollar was taken from my earnings or your earnings. It could have bought me a coffee or in some centers paid a bus fare or at least been used for something that I chose. It is an individual’s property, taken and then used supposedly for the public good.

Here is where we make the error that allows the public squandering of money to take place and the public itself to be lulled into a stupor of non recognition. We lose sight of what these large dollars represent. And the only way to get it back into a perspective that represents reality is to bring it back down to a personal level.

We need to look at our collective loss as a personal thing. Let me illustrate this.

A billion dollars is 1000 million dollars. We all recognize that 1 of those millions is a lot of money. But how much money is 1 of those millions if it is taken out of the pockets of the 20 families on my block and only my side of the street? What if we thought  of all 100 people living in those houses and boiled it down to what each person lost. That amounts to $10,000 per resident. That’s a lot of good that could have been done. Mrs. Keogh could have had that hip replaced, and Mr. Bond could have had the new glasses and his nephew visiting more than once every couple of years. Mrs. Kowalski could eat three meals every day instead of only two on her meager pension after Walt’s passing. There is so much variety of need that could be solved based on the application of our money out of our pockets to our neighbors and ourselves.

I am making this suggestion after having just been advising folks doing forensic audits of the books of First Nations tribes that have been plundered by their leadership, and the theft of a lot of money. We boiled it down to individuals who lost things, personal needs that should have been met but weren’t because the funds weren’t there. Its really called “victim impact assessments.”

On the whole we are all victims, and in the aggregate we all suffer loss of one sort or the other. Things that we should have received, we don’t, because the funds were stolen or diverted from where it could have and should have gone, into the pockets of some crony or some company or some politician. The loss needs to become personal before we realize the enormity of the problem that we are facing.

Stop the theft in government, look at our personal losses, blame the ones responsible and seek remedies that work. Personal remedies that return to individuals the dignity that was stolen from them by government politicians and bureaucrats. When we see that dollar as our own, we can get mad because if left to us, we would have used it wisely, saved it, invested it or made good use of it. We don’t throw our personal money away, we are wiser than that. Remember that “A fool and his money are soon parted.”

Is our government a fool? I know I didn’t need to ask the obvious question because the answer has already been given, “Stupid is as stupid does.”

Thank you Forrest.