Presidents: leaders or beggars?
I am starting to get fed up with all the public debt.
I spend most of my life in Greece and of course there was always a public dept. Never a surplus so the debt is never paid. Then I move to the US. My naive thought was that the rich countries borrow to the poor countries, so the US obviously wouldn't have a debt. Then I see that there is a 14 trillion debt here as well. It simply didn't make sense to me.
Of course, starting reading and thinking you get how the system works. And it is simply disappointing.
The point I want to raise is do you think that borrowing money is a good solution compared to getting the money from the people?
For example, you want to make something big. A war or some stadiums for the Olympic games you are hosting. Something costly. You have a lot of solutions as a government if you don't have money saved. I ll focus on two:
-Have a temporarily high tax.
For me the second solution is just irresponsible. I wouldn't accept it as an individual, I don't want my government and the country as a whole to do it. If I want to buy something I will first try to work harder, cut my expenses, sacrifice something. And not just buy it with my credit card and worry about it later. But I guess that is just me.
But, do I really sacrifice? Do I really suffer? No. I feel pride that I have to work for something, do something extra and somehow earn it. Pride I believe is my drive in this situation. If I can find pride, my neighbor can find pride. And my neighbor's neighbor. Thus, the country as a whole.
So, allow me to label these kind of presidents "Beggars". Now, I know blaming just the president is naive in a sense, but for simplicity we can do so as a representative of the government.
To view the other side, long time ago in ancient Athens the "president" there, Periklis, wanted to build the Acropolis. Due to previous costly constructions, the people had already paid a lot of taxes. They weren't willingly to agree to anymore government spending. And they had direct democracy, the majority vote had to be followed. So Periklis to convince the people just responded "fine, I will pay from my personal money. But every piece of marble will have the name Periklis carved on it". The people agreed to make the Acropolis. I called that being a "Leader".
A more recent example comes from Hungary half a century ago. In Budapest after all the wars, national monuments all around the historic city were in bad shape. The government ask for people to give 20% of their income to rebuilt them. And once the government had rebuilt them and in the future made a surplus, they would pay back.The people agreed. The government did pay back. Again, I call that being a Leader and the people being responsible. If they had borrowed a few millions the people today would still being owning that money.
The other point is, why pay taxes to somebody that goes bankrupt and has to borrow money? Would you buy stocks from a company that is going bankrupt? If you really want to save that company (you need a government obviously) just buy "good" stocks, make money and donate them. Yes, I would happily pay more taxes to a government that does its job. A feel like an idiot, literally, paying to a government that doesn't do what it has to.