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Strategic Thinking and Planning (Vol. 70)

Updated: Feb 7, 2023

analyticsbox | Sep 22, 2022

Back up Plan

Must we be ‘burned’ before we get good policy?

“It is hard to imagine a more stupid or more dangerous way of making decisions than by putting those decisions in the hands of people who pay no price for being wrong.” -Thomas Sowell

Congress makes decisions on how to spend OUR money - that is one of their primary jobs. Are they doing it well? Are we getting value and good strategic planning and thinking to facilitate a growing economy which will benefit everyone? I think not. As Churchill quipped, ‘Americans always do the right thing - once all other choices are exhausted. How about we try something different - do the right thing the first time, and quit doing stupid things that ‘sound good; but feel bad’. Or try something really radical - develop a strategic plan, and follow it. If we have a plan, it is being kept secret. The voting public should be demanding clear paths of action from the politicians who represent them to address pressing issues, like the debt and energy policy, and require them to acknowledge the costs and consequences of the policies they advocate. Unless the public better understands the issues at hand, and holds its elected representatives accountable for the consequences of bad policy, there is nothing to prevent politicians from continuing to make poor choices that “sound good, but feel bad". When planning and implementing policy, ‘keep the back door open’. What does that mean exactly? I have learned from the school of hard knocks, when making decisions, be sure to have backup plans available to you if things don’t go as planned. Example: strategic oil reserve. We are using up our ‘emergency supplies’ as a convenience to lower gas prices. Bad mistake for many reasons. Most importantly, we are closing the back door for when we really need those reserves. Also important, it is doing very little to lower prices. The real reason prices are dropping is because demand is dropping as we find ways to reduce consumption as a result of high prices (supply and demand laws really work even with products that have inelastic demand). Example: Germany wants to be a good citizen and ‘go green’. They shuttered coal and nuclear power plants and had no back door open for energy. They became primarily dependent on unreliable foreign gas and wind and solar - wind and solar are not dependable or adequate, so they were beholden to foreign gas as the key to their energy needs. There was no back door. If they encountered a problem, they were up s–t creek without a paddle. Guess what happened? Energy prices were through the roof before the shortages as a result of following stupid policy, now they cannot even supply their needs at any price because they were dependent on one source that failed. Example: California. They think EV’s will help the environment (which is wrong but not my point) so they require all vehicles sold to be electric by 2035. Yet their energy policy is so stupid, they are asking EV owners not to charge the batteries today because of energy shortages. Just how stupid can we get? Please reread the quote at the top. Strategic thinking means making good decisions and planning for all contingencies and keeping the back door open. Not so difficult. In energy policy, we need to be self sufficient, not depend on others for our well being, we were on that track, but not today - just plain stupid. In financial policy, we need to be flexible and not get into the debt trap. Don't close the borrowing window by over burdening the country with debt. Then, in an emergency, there is an avenue to finance unexpected problems. Our Congress is rapidly closing that window by reckless spending, financed by endless borrowing. See the Debt Bomb video on our website. Invest a couple of minutes to learn the real situation in this Country. We are allowing Congress to mortgage the future for our kids and grandkids. I can see the day coming when the ‘s–t hits the fan’ and they exclaim, ‘what have our parents and grandparents done to us?’ BOTTOM LINE We must demand better policy from our representatives. It is up to the ‘voting public’ to cry out and demand sound policy on all fronts, especially fiscal sanity. It is hard, but it can be done if we understand the problem and have the will to fix it. And make no mistake, Congress will only fix it if the public supports the difficult decisions required to do so. It is up to us to speak out and tell them to ‘fix this mess’. NOW. LEARN ECONOMICS, THEN VOTE SMART

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