by John Spencer
History usually repeats itself, and it is amazing how what we were concerned with in the past we are still concerned with today. But, in the last couple of years a new phrase (we have never heard before) has surfaced: “The new normal”.
In 2008 we entered a scary time when a huge amount of wealth was stripped away from the system, and whether we admit it or not it created a new climate for our economy, politics, and commerce. As a result, this condition has created a new set of circumstances that are somewhat unpleasant, some of which I have listed below:
- Talking about a problem such as taxes, regulations, reform, etc. is all we will do; actually doing something about it is no longer reality.
- Lying is becoming more acceptable, the political arena will lead the way.
- Smooth roads will soon be a thing of the past.
- There will soon be no more live people on the other end of the phone; frustration will send you in a different direction.
- You are still in debt, now with no way to pay.
- Prices for everything will continue to rise, wages will stagnate.
- Houses cost less but there is no way to buy one for many.
- Backyard gardens (out of necessity) are coming back.
- NO will be said more instead of YES.
- Fewer employees now to do the job of many.
- We will no longer log or thin the forest, fire will do that for us, fire does not kill animals or destroy habitat. Forest fires do not require an EIR.
- Voting on new taxes will be impossible; fees for service will be the new thing.
- Smoke and mirrors is now part of our State budget process, and is acceptable.
- The middle class is going out of business, elitism is coming into vogue.
- Democrats see today as just a bump in the road, everything will be back to normal soon, we just need a little more of your money to keep the gears turning.
We now find ourselves in a situation where there may very well be too many regulations for most regular people to comply with, thus not as much commerce will take place and growth will be diminished. So, can we (or should we) cut some of the regulations to bring the system back into sync? Cutting regulations would be a great idea but I don’t think anyone can do it, we’ve come too far. Democrats will never be able to go back, and Republicans don’t know how to go back. If Republicans try to go backwards they will be demonized for even thinking about the word “backwards”. So that leaves us in an untenable situation; the economy will not recover until more money comes back to the system, and that will not happen if jobs don’t come back. Jobs won’t come back with the screwed-up/over regulated/too expensive system currently in place.
The size and power of our government has to be reduced by scaling down existing government programs and departments. Democrats think the government must be the creator of jobs and all good things can only come from government, that way they can control how everything is done and who does it. Republicans believe that only the private sector can create jobs, and cannot survive unless the government gets off its back.
Out of necessity, local government is in the process of scaling back now; this is a good thing, although they still have to enforce the same huge amount of regulation. Doing the same thing with fewer employees can only make progress (in our economy) more difficult. Because our current president has never held a real job, he has no idea how wealth is created or used. All he knows is; if you have wealth you need to offer it up for re-distribution. That attitude cannot work.
I don’t think we’re going to like “the new normal”.
John Spencer is a licensed surveyor who owns Spencer Land Surveys and is a former Nevada County Supervisor living in Grass Valley.