By Dr. Jim Ferguson
We’ve been conditioned to think that only politicians can solve our problems. But at some point, maybe we will wake up and recognize that it was the politicians who created our problems.
I am a science-based guy. In my day, medical school was about science rather than learning appropriate gender identity pronouns and the study of racial issues. So, When I learned of the emphasis of my medical school, I wrote the dean to not expect any donations from me. When I was in training, my school ranked in the top 10 for training clinicians rather than researchers, academic professors or wokesters.
My liberal arts pre-med college education was principally in the sciences, although I had to take two additional years of English after the dozen I slogged through in grades one through twelve. My teachers thought I needed help in my native language. Knowing what I do now, I probably did. I was also required to take two years of a foreign language. I chose French because I couldn’t trill an r, required with Spanish. This came in handy when I traveled in Tunisia because their second language (after Arabic) is French. I was able to negotiate with a taxi driver and travel to Sidi Bou Said, the capital of the ancient Carthaginian empire destroyed by the Romans in the third and last Punic War. I have stood on the ground where Hannibal once walked.
The entire world seems to be transfixed by the rapidly inflating war in Ukraine. Putin’s war has galvanized NATO and the world in opposition to his invasion. There are exceptions, principally China, which is using the war to further its own agenda. Xi Jinping continues to buy coal and wheat from Russia rather than condemning the 21st century Hitler. India continues to buy oil from Putin. Fortunately, We the People demanded that Biden stop purchasing Putin’s oil. We are paying a price. Biden put us in this predicament with the stroke of his pen in January 2021, destroying our energy independence which we enjoyed in 2020. A friend sent me a meme that said, “One thing we’ve learned since January 20, 2021, a boob with a pen is more dangerous than a smart aleck with a tweet.”
But there is a myriad of other problems beyond the latest European war and skyrocketing gasoline prices. Some notable examples include Biden’s and the Democrat’s open border policy allowing two million illegal aliens into our country, without vaccination, and then bussed and flown all over the US. Democrats have also perverted the justice system with the release of criminals to repeatedly prey upon citizens. Have you noticed that the convicted Jussie Smollett was released from jail while the January 6 capitol trespassers rot in jail without indictment, trial or conviction?
I was able to take a few electives courses in college after acing Western Civ. I doubt that my readers would be surprised that I did well in this freshman history course. I also took economics 101 pass-fail. I passed, but it wasn’t pretty. I’ll admit my prejudice and classify economics as pseudoscience. Unfortunately, we better pay attention to the economy because inflation is probably the most dangerous threat America faces.
Recently, I’ve been holding my nose and studying economics and inflation. I found the most succinct exegesis on this arcane subject in the January issue of Imprimis, the free monthly publication of Hillsdale College (https://imprimis.edu). A weightier study of economics is “The Price of Peace, Money, Democracy, and the Life of John Maynard Keynes,” the author of Keynesian macroeconomic theory which now drives the Federal Reserve. The theory is that adding money to the economy stimulates growth and does not cause inflation. Why would anyone doubt this since Joe Biden, Nancy Pelosi and the vacuous Pete Buttigieg parrot Keynes? Over the last two years, the Federal Reserve has, with the push of an electronic button, “printed” $6 trillion dollars and pumped those dollars into the economy.
If you learn nothing else from this essay, consider this perspective: if there are more dollars chasing the same or fewer products, inflation will occur (economics 101). We have all heard that inflation is now 7.9%. Compare this to the inflation rate of 1.7% at the close of 2020 (Bureau of Labor statistics).
Inflation takes time to develop and it will take time for it to slow down, which can only occur with proper money management, something the government seems incapable of doing. As a result, the zone is flooded with dollars, rising prices are outpacing production, the value of the dollar is falling and we are in a world of hurt.
As an example, an inflation rate of 7.5% will cause the price of everything to double in ten years. In other words, a $20,000 car will cost $40,000 and a $5 hamburger will cost $10. And even now, rising salaries are consumed by rising costs such as gasoline.
My seven-year-old granddaughter Josie gets it. Josie is an entrepreneur with a small homemade cookie business. The money she makes is often used at her favorite store, Dollar Tree. Unfortunately, everything at the Dollar Tree is now $1.25, and the cost of cookie ingredients (flour, sugar) is rising.
The painful remedy for inflation is decreasing the money supply by raising the federal interest rate. The Federal Reserve just raised the base interest rate by .25% last week. Experts believe this is far too little. As chairman of the Federal Reserve in the 1970s, Paul Volker was far more aggressive and ultimately inflation was brought under control. Do you remember “stagflation” under Jimmy Carter? Inflation was 14% and the economy was stagnant. The other means of combating inflation is to stop profligate spending. We are sending ruinous debt to the future and to our children.
Given the state of affairs of the world, a friend recently told me, “It’s a good time to be an old person.” Actually, I agreed with her because, despite the challenges, my life has never been better. But I feel it is my responsibility to resist the evil that is threatening to destroy my country and the world. I will not sit by and do nothing. I will not go along to get along. And unlike the poll that showed 52% of Democrats would flee and not defend the country, I’m locked and loaded and will do so.