First, allow me to disabuse you of the notion that the purpose and function of government is for you to make more money. That's not the function of government, its responsibility, or even its ability. The purpose of government is to create a safe social container for the advancement of all aspects of civilization -- providing the common defense, promoting the general welfare, and securing the blessings of liberty for all its citizens. The purpose of a democracy is to make liberty safe for its citizens.
You may have been suckered in by the pronouncements of politicians and economists, which say that the actions of governments can "create jobs" and wealth, whereas the ability of any government to do so is small, slow, and unreliable. Changes come from the bottom, up, not from the top, down.
THE MOST FOOLISH ECONOMIC THEORYPerhaps the most foolish, if not altogether ridiculous economic theory is, "Trickle-down Theory" -- which seems to suggest some sort of mechanistic automaticity by which wealth at the top trickles down as a result of some sort of "economic gravity". It's foolish because it overlooks human behavior as the primary mechanism of wealth distribution. Wealth trickles down only if those who have the wealth want it to; and they generally don't. They want to accumulate wealth, not share it. Trickle-down Theory is bogus, a false lead, a ponzi scheme that serves entrenched wealth.
To drive the point home about human behavior controlling the flow of wealth, there is an adage: "The stock market is driven by two forces: greed and fear." Its truth is evident, to you, if you play the stock market (or crypto-currencies) and are honest about your motivations.
No, government can't create jobs or wealth -- other than "infrastructure jobs" for the common good. It can only cause the loss of jobs and wealth by incompetence and foolishness -- such as tax breaks for the wealthy, sabotage of ideas like universal health care (an idea resisted by health insurance companies and the pharmaceutical industry), perpetuation of The Fed (which isn't a federal institution, at all, but a privately held banking scheme that charges the public interest for generating fictitious dollars and placing them in circulation), and impediments to innovations ("disruptive technologies") such as sustainable energy sources -- so that the gravy train continues to feed the entrenched wealth of those who make their money from old ways of doing things.
Jobs come from businesses in the private sector filling the needs of the public sector -- and that includes public infrastructure projects.
FILLING NEEDS vs. PROFIT-MAKING GIMMICKSJust to distinguish needs from profit-making gimmicks, "Fancy Feast cat food" is not a need (unless you consider the need of seniors who can't afford both food and medicine). It's a gimmick. So are self-driving cars, violence-based video games and virtual-reality entertainment. So are genetically-engineered seeds and chemicals that make growers dependent on companies that have patents, while despoiling our environment and forcing plants to grow without adequate nutritional support from depleted soil to produce nutritionally deficient food. (If food lacks flavor, it lacks nutritional value.) So are many pharmaceuticals, including those for depression (epidemic), which fail to handle the actual causes of diseases (e.g., bad diet) and depression (one of which is the concentration of wealth in the wealthy and economic hardship for the rest).
SUCKERS FOR GOVERNMENTPeople who attribute economic gains to government policies are suckers who have been sucked in by the self-serving bureaucratic propaganda of those who seek re-election and by The American Dream (that the greater the material wealth, the greater the happiness).
The common person feels that, if economic times are good, those in government deserve re-election; if economic times are bad, "Throw the bums out!" (except, these days, people don't). Such a person is a simpleton who hasn't considered that governments don't produce wealth; they only consume it, regulate it, or direct it. Such a person fails to take into account economic cycles that result from rhythmic, large-scale human behavior patterns; from emergence of new technologies, tidal fluctuations of world markets, climate changes and from idiocies like trade wars and currency manipulations, so they misplace credit for improvements and misplace blame for setbacks.
If people's understanding of economic changes were correct, we could regulate them better.
The biggest beneficiaries of government spending are defense contractors who not only don't fill needs, but who create expensive instruments of destruction that should never be used and deprive the public of the resources for meeting human needs.
Another foolish sentiment is that business is sacrosanct and that making money justifies any action, as long as it's legal (note, I didn't say ethical or moral). It's the spirit of the board-game, Monopoly: winner take all. Get the money and keep it.
It's foolish because the flow of wealth depends upon the willingness of the general population to spend it -- which brings us to what is perhaps my most central point.
TRUST and PROFITWillingness to spend money depends upon trust. The failure of trust in commerce, in product quality, and in government is evident in the saying, "Caveat emptor!" -- "Let the buyer beware!" It's the recommendation that people treat all potential business transactions with suspicion.
Suspicion slows commerce down.
When "winner take all" is the mood of commerce and "legality", the measure of legitimacy, an economic climate of suspicion results.
The climate of suspicion is made worse by people who sell gimmicks or half-baked products (like shoddy software or poorly designed tangible goods with obsolescence planned in) -- and by politicians who serve the wealthiest 1% instead of their electorate (composed mostly of "the 99%"), politicians who don't keep promises they make because they can't. The rapid-fire emergence of technological upgrades (such as the latest cell phone or high-tech watch) serves profit-making more than public need; such products promise to be what products should have been, to begin with: well-designed and lasting. There is no shortage of problems that need solving, and so no excuse for planned obsolescence or for gimmicks.
OVERSIMPLIFICATIONStill, people tend to evaluate government by whether they are making more money, rather than by whether more people, the society as a whole, are healthier and happier. They mistake more money and more "things" for happiness -- true only for the poor, for young people starting out, and for immigrants and refugees. They vote emotionally for short-term benefit, rather than intelligently, for the long term.
It's a trait of undeveloped minds to consider only one issue in decision-making, rather than all the issues of which they may be made aware. Their minds can't hold it all and their critical thinking and feeling capacity has often been blunted or left undeveloped by an incompetent educational system, filtered news, degraded entertainment, and commercial propaganda.
Very often, the information about that one issue is furnished by those who control the mass-communications media and who seek to manipulate public opinion for their own profit, fostering and perpetuating a population of naive suckers with strong opinions based on biased, spoon-fed information.
CONSEQUENCESWhen money is the primary criterion for evaluating politicians and government policy, ethics and morality fall by the wayside. Societies suffer and civilization declines.
And that's what we've been experiencing in The United States of Money: entrenched wealth meets a population of easily manipulated simpletons and helpless suckers.
A final word:
We have, in the office of President, a man who has admitted on camera that he is greedy and for whom making money is a priority. Prediction: He will be found to have been bought off by Putin's Russia -- the "Achilles Heel" (unsuspected weakness) of The United States of Money.
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