Read the title. By the transitive property economics is the truth. Economics, although hijacked by ideologues, is actually a science; a science of observations in its purest form. But efficient and optimal economics (if optimal is creating the most wealth) is not possible without telling the truth which builds trust. You see where I’m going with this?
A slight and brief diversion:
There is something undeniably refreshing about the truth. Unmask and pants the world and life becomes simplified. It’s an amazing circumstance to find a situation free of ulterior motives and shiftiness. It feels satisfying when another person is direct. No nonsense, hidden agendas, or selfishness has a feeling of reviving purity. The unadulterated, pants-less truth is scarce and precious.
Make no mistake: truth is more than just a virtue, an asset, and a foundation of morality. Truth is our responsibility. When a person places trust onto another it should be treated as the most crucial of investments. Some people don’t care if they return that asset to others, though. They won’t match honesty if it gets difficult or live up to responsibilities because it gets too hard.
Life is hard for everybody at times. Whether rich or poor, strong or weak, meek or selfish, life throws everyone a fair share of curve balls.
Stop whining and pants yourself.
Know the difference between focusing on yourself and never looking past yourself. Focus on your own endeavors but stop acting like the world revolves around you and take your eyes off of yourself. We reap what we sew in this world. Start with telling the truth and smiling. Pants yourself. Those that just don’t get it will run and those that offer valuable relationships will stay, pants around the ankles.
What does trust have to do with anything? Trust matters in economics. An economy is nothing more than people interacting with people. Comparative studies show GDP growth rates and capital investment are lower in economies with greater violence, government oppression, and crime. Corruption by entrepreneurs, capitalist fat cats, government officials, and everyday citizens cause the damage, usually to line their own pockets. More transactions occur in an economy of trusting human beings.
But do we really trust our leaders anymore? The same president that told us no lobbyists would be in his cabinet now has a handful working for him. Mr. Obama also said he would bring the troops home from Iraq. He set August 31, 2010 as the date to remove all troops…well, other than the 35-50,000 soldiers who will still be there helping out.
John McCain wants to get huffy and puffy about earmarks and government spending now; he’s only voted for both across three decades in Washington. This the same man who voted for the $700 billion Troubled Assets Relief Program (TARP) in the fall. Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, a self-proclaimed tax cheat, wants to scold people for not paying their taxes. It’s all craziness.
If TurboTax were a class, Geithner would be receiving some combination of a “no pass” and “incomplete”. The former for being unable to navigate through the software correctly and the latter for failing to pay the penalty on his evaded taxes. If laws actually applied to him, he probably wouldn’t be the American money czar.
For this purpose none of these are political points; they’re points on the deterioration of trust. For good reason trust between private citizens and their leaders is gone.
And economies need trust.