The often-quoted phrase could actually mean something if the incentives behind politics change.
“Same Same, But Different Same”
While Trump recently popularized the “drain the swamp” phrase, his execution and point-of-view were flawed.
Politicians in the United States have been viewed in a negative lens for at least the last few decades. The problem is that our people have become so desensitized to this way of thought that nothing gets done to rectify the situation. Nihilism has been co-opted all the way up to the legislative level.
How common is it in your discussions with family, friends and peers to refer to our political leaders as liars willing to do or say whatever it takes to get your vote? It’s common amongst my peers; I would imagine it’s no different for you. Why is this?
Consider for a moment the incentives for an individual to run for a political office. What are the perks? Well there’s the glaringly obvious: you get to choose what happens with legislation that you deem is required or justified, with some input from your constituents (if you want to consider their points of view). But there are also second-order perks, like the pensions that are guaranteed after completion of their term. Or my personal favorite: voting on policy (like the most recent infrastructure bill) and specifically how The State (referring to the whole of the U.S. federal government) spends and allocates funds acquired by either tax revenue or money printing.
Since 2008 we’ve seen a butt-load of money printing. This is documented here by the Fed as the M1 money supply. The Fed itself explains that the definition of what M1 consists of can be arbitrarily changed. This is all to fund activities ranging from bailing out bankers in 2008 (and then not prosecuting a single individual that was actually responsible) to printing nearly 40% of the circulating supply of dollars ever created in order to fund an economic shutdown in a (futile) attempt to prevent the spread of the virus. This is without taking into consideration the plethora of systemic issues within our infrastructure including, but not limited to: civil rights, public health, healthcare, student loans, Social Security, pensions and then there’s the funding of what many are calling America’s “Forever War” state that we’ve been in since our victory over Nazi Germany (and, really, for the entire life of our country).
It is for these reasons that I propose; politics and government have inextricably become married to the Federal Reserve. The Fed has slowly become the lender of only resort to the U.S. and to support the Petrodollar. And what’s worse is that this bank account can manifest dollars out of thin air with zero effort.
Fix The Incentive Mechanism
Trump had the right idea: “drain the swamp.” You have no idea how much it pains me to say this because, as a human being, I find him deplorable. But that shouldn’t prevent anyone from agreeing with the point-of-view of any individual. Unfortunately he didn’t have the foresight or clarity of mind to see one important fact: if we don’t change the incentive structure, it does not matter who we replace the current leadership with.
Furthermore: if we don’t fix the money, today’s problems will simply manifest again in the future.
This problem needs to be faced today. We need a better currency today. No revolution, whether cultural or confrontational, in today’s environment will accomplish anything if we don’t alleviate the incentive problem.
This problem isn’t just within the Federal Reserve, it’s also due to the lobbying relationships in Washington that I touched on in my previous article. This relationship is allowing for external parties to prod, probe and press politicians to affect legislation that can benefit particular entities or industries (maybe for a modest fee or kickback, we can infer).
Our world continues to show how much we need bitcoin the asset and Bitcoin the network.
Our leaders continue to show how much we need a money that is not under their purview.
Furthermore, our leaders and those closest to the money printer continue to show not only their incompetence with regards to money management, but also their stubbornness to admit that the music is slowing down and the number of chairs to claim are growing sparse.
If the United States of America does not make significant moves to: 1.) accept humility and admit that there is a need to learn about this world-changing asset, 2.) take action on the efforts to learn from reputable and knowledgeable members of the Bitcoin community, and, last but not least, 3.) consider that maybe our world could actually be better with a monetary asset and policy that does not fall prey to human greed or fallibility.
It’s not that bitcoin is a fantastic risk-return investment, it’s that Bitcoin is a fundamental necessity.
This is a guest post by Mike Hobart. Opinions expressed are entirely their own and do not necessarily reflect those of BTC, Inc. or Bitcoin Magazine.