I awoke to the sound of thunder early this morning. For a while, I drifted in and out of sleep, waking each time there was a particularly loud thunderclap, and then dozing off again. Finally, I gave up trying to sleep, and just listened to the racket and marvelled at the intensity and frequency of the lightning bolts I saw through my bedroom window.
The thunder and lightning accompanied pouring rain. Even with the deluge of water, the noise, and the lightning bolts, I was secure. I didn't have to worry about getting out of the weather, to get to higher ground, or anything like that. I was free to watch and listen, warm and safe in my bed.
I was warm and safe because of what individual men and women have wrought. Discoveries and inventions over millennia have culminated in our having homes to live in that are dry, warm in the winter, cool in the summer, with electric lights and microwave ovens and televisions and telephones.
We are the lucky ones.
There are still places in the world where people are cold and wet, where they don't have something even as basic as clean water to drink. In these places, people starve, sometimes by the millions. Life expectancy is low. Some of those who manage to make it out of childhood then face harm or death by goons who do the bidding of the government-of-the day. Individual human beings are expendable. They are as nothing. They are born, they die. No-one cares.
I have listened to years of bleating by 'experts' about how we need to help the disadvantaged by sending more foreign aid money to the governments of these places and by reducing or forgiving their international debts. Still, the more we do to help in these places, the worse it gets. Why?
Money won't solve the problems. Only freedom will solve the problems. Individual citizens of every nation need to be able to produce what they can, trade with their neighbours, and keep all or most of the proceeds. It is that simple. The more official meddling there is, the worse things get. The stronger the government, the weaker the individual and the sorrier the state of affairs.
There is a financial storm coming. It is unavoidable. That is something to remember when elections loom again. Municipal, state or provincial or national, it doesn't matter. Let's get rid of the profligate jerks who want to control our every move, spend every last penny we make, and mortgage the future of our children.
We are lucky that, so far at least, we don't live in a third world country where many people don't have even the basic necessities of life. Our children face a very uncertain future, unless we act to stop irresponsible politicians and other meddlers from bankrupting us all.
Let's hope we still can.