Post-election, people try to make sense of the election results, and the easy layup I’ve heard this year is that the country is “more divided than ever”. The reason is that Congress has done little over the past 40 years to create a sense of progress, purpose, and positive ambition…while actively creating a world where weakness and financial stagnation is a moral failure, unfit for the meritocracy we call the USA.
The USA has a history of shared prosperity based on the idea of achievement. The need to do well, to get somewhere in life, to be better… to achieve. IN order to achieve, we have to be motivated and inspired… ambitious. Ambition is not greed, being selfish, or getting ahead at the expense of another. Ambition is not hoping you win at the expense of others, but in the service of others. Ambition is a desire to achieve, to prosper in health, wealth, and relationships; family, community, county, God (as someone from the Greatest Generation might say). I think most people would agree with this sense of the American Zeitgeist.
If one is properly ambitious, they will achieve and succeed as a result of serving others with love, “he who serves best, prospers most” is an old motto from Rotary clubs. Also consider that during the Great Depression, Treasury Secretary Andrew Mellon said, “let companies liquidate! It’s creative destruction, a good thing!” It was not, but it was based on the (somewhat Puritanical) American Zeitgeist of achievement.
Logically it follows that if achievement is earned through individual effort and hard work, then capital flows and accumulates to these virtuous individuals. This is American meritocracy. If one did NOT achieve, then that was a moral failure. The weakness and lack of ability to achieve was a result of sloth, dishonesty, and avarice. The people who do not achieve fail because they are greedy and lazy… unwilling to do the work on themselves enough to have proper ambition. Their ambition is hoping to win at the expense of someone else. Or, during the housing crisis, those people that took out loans that were too big should not be bailed out! They should have saved more and not taken so much risk. Or, people who smoke cigarettes deserves to pay high taxes on those cigarettes and we should charge them more for health insurance too! Weakness or non-achievement in the USA, is a moral failure.
How I Empathize with the Anti-Mask Crowd
If this is moral system is true, masks are optional. One might reach the conclusion, “Since Covid really only affects the weak, I don’t need to wear a mask. I’m a righteous, ambitious, inspired individual and want to pursue my path. This is America, we get to do what we want if we don’t harm others.” Now also consider outside of major cities, most rural areas haven’t been affected by COVID at all. Nothing, COVID is a ghost. It’s talked about, but never seen except on television and the media.
A large segment of the population don’t see anyone in their day to day life or social circle with COVID, only see Ivory Tower “elites” saying wear masks, and the death rate is very low… these folks want to go on with their lives.
Also, if I’m a rural white American… and over the past 40 years I haven’t seen my life improve at all. Democrats have been calling me a stupid racist redneck, deserving of my situation in life as a moral failing of my own creation. Never mind the fact that 40 years of money printing has gone into assets, and like black & brown people… I have no assets. So why do these Democratic Elites give poor folk in the city a pass, but I’m a morally bankrupt demon? https://fellow401k.com/blog/election-results-in-perspective/
The Democrats lost the rural “working class” vote & trust because they were unimaginative, uncreative, and without ambition. In the infamous election between Gore & Bush in 2000, Gore actually won some rural counties in the presidential election, lost the suburbs, and won the cities by 20 points. In 2020, Biden lost the rural vote by a wide margin, won the suburbs narrowly, and won the cities by 40 points.
Reagan started creating money in 1980 and pushing into the economy via tax cuts. The government would just fund any deficits by creating money. The Republicans held the White house for 12 years! Clinton said “oh yea… let’s super charge this thing!”, and the Glass Steagall Act, which limited which entities could partake in the awesome power of the Fed (i.e. created money), was repealed! History is 20/20 and this has led us to where we are now. So much money has been created, most of it under Obama… and it’s just gone to these “Elites” that say they’re for the working man, but keep giving it to banker and the wealthy to put into the stock market.
At least Donald Trump says it like how it is. They won’t lie to me like these democratic elites that just want to create money and give it to their friends. That’s not the America I know and love… achievement is a result of positive ambition, inspiration, and motivation / hard work.
How I Empathize with the Pro-Mask Crowd
“I believe in science! We should trust the science! This isn’t about politics… it’s about people’s lives”. I agree. The CDC, Fauci, “top ranking” scientists are the professionals. They are NBA level talent in what they do, and disagreeing with them is like saying “I can beat LeBron James in basketball”.
Science isn’t basketball though. Consider that Arnold Schwarzenegger was doing things in the 1970’s like rotating muscle groups and training opposing muscle groups and it was a known truth within that community to be true and best practices. But science didn’t write about it until 20 years later.
Science applied to health has done more to prevent death, than increase life. In an America that views weakness as a moral failing, and scientific bureaucrats that are on the same side as the “elites”… they’re not to be trusted. “I believe in the science” is the equivalent of “I believe in the power of God”, they are both largely statements of Faith in the short term.
Ambition is not greed, being selfish, or getting ahead at the expense of another. Ambition is not hoping you win at the expense of others, but in the service of others. Not wearing a mask is not good ambition. Not trusting the best athletes of the scientific world is not good ambition. It’s hypocritical and short sighted. Progressives are shocked that such a class of people, RACISTS, could have a say in their world?!
At the End of The Day
“You deserve what you get”, a phrase as American as apple pie, should probably die. Deserve is a moral word. There’s been wealth inequality created in the past 40 years and poor whites & minorities have not received the printed money to keep up. The reason why this has happened is the story that masks tell. One side thinks its Racism and Fascism. The other thinks it’s a betrayal by the Democratic “elites, that were supposed to be for the “working man”. And to add injury to insult, these “elites” demonize this poor whites as deserving of their impoverished situation & exploding opioid use, while simultaneously explaining why minorities in cities don’t deserve their situation… from their university office in New York.
The story is that moral language and this idea of meritocracy are just wrong. But that’s the truth we live in. So the only real narrative that’ll work, is the Fed: https://fellow401k.com/blog/election-results-in-perspective/
The problem with just creating money, pushing up asset prices, is that it doesn’t create a sense of progress, purpose, and positive ambition. If the USA considers weakness and financial stagnation as a moral failure… leaving behind 50% of the population to wrestle with that while being called a racist, or a welfare queen, doesn’t leave room for “coming together”. And old argument made by minorities in universities for ages… don’t remove agency, it doesn’t work…it just makes you feel better.
Money was created over the past 40 years and it went into assets. If you didn’t have assets, you didn’t feel progress, purpose, ambition, & hope. This is true for 50% of the people today. 25% are minorities. 25% or poorer rural whites. The rest of us vote as “allies” for either side… largely depending on where we reside and what those people in our communities that we want to help, say is the problem.
The rationalization process that one isn’t a moral failure, and some external force caused poor fated results is the emotional life of many… while the story of victory and merit is a rationalization for the others… and they don’t work. These stories are in the masks if you listen. They ought to be replaced with this: Did you get some of that free money or not? And the below chart of the Fed’s balance sheet, ends at 2015 lol… it doesn’t even include 2020!