We’ve all heard the common laymen’s definition of insanity – “Doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” By this definition, I’m definitely insane!
I don’t think I’m alone in this but there are many aspects of my life where I’m trying to improve and do better but I don’t change the underlying principals or actions that end up leading me right down the same old path to failure. I keep telling myself, “This time it will be different – I’m really serious and focused this time” but I fail to change the basic behavior that is at the root of my discontent.
This definition not only applies to each of us as individuals but equally applies to groups, associations, organizations, companies and yes, even countries. The phrase, “History repeats itself” was penned as a result of this very principal. Year after year, decade after decade and century after century this seemingly simple principle is repeated in countries throughout the world.
History books are full of stories about countries creating governments and implementing policies that have proven to fail in the past but nevertheless, this time will be different. But guess what, it never is. Sure there may be slight differences in how certain economic policies are implemented but the end result is always the same – failure.
We are currently seeing yet one more example of failed economic policies being played out in Venezuela. Your heart goes out to the desperate citizens of that country who are in a fight for their very lives. They are starving to death. With the current inflation rate of over 60,000%, IMF economists are predicting Venezuela’s inflation rate could exceed 1,000,000% this year and the leaders of the country are grasping at straws in an attempt to resolve these overwhelming issues.
It now requires stacks of bills (bolivars) to purchase just a roll of toilet paper. There’s probably more paper in the stack of bills than in the roll of toilet paper. One might be better off just using the bolivars as toilet paper for they are worth less.
Stories of using wheelbarrows to carry all the bolivars necessary to purchase just a few items are common. But this story isn’t a new one. There are many stories of similar circumstances due to hyper-inflation. In Zimbabwe, due to hyper-inflation, it cost 100 Trillion Zimbabwe dollars to purchase 3 eggs. During the 1920’s, the Weimar Republic in Germany experienced a similar financial implosion when the German Mark became almost worthless. Take a look at this chart at how quickly things got out of control.
The current exchange rate in Venezuela is about 250,000 bolivars per U.S. dollar. In an attempt to somehow get control over this debilitating issue, the government has just announced they are devaluing the bolivar by some 95% and will attempt to peg it to the governments proposed cryptocurrency, the “petro”. This pushes the exchange rate to over 6,000,000 bolivars per U.S. dollar.
Seriously?? We all know where this is going to end up – total financial collapse and a bankrupt country. Unfortunately, there are millions of innocent citizens who will bear the brunt of this financial disaster.
The underlying lesson to be learned here is that we cannot afford to rely on politicians and governments to provide for our needs or guarantee a life of prosperity or even basic survival. This is a lesson that has been taught throughout the centuries but very few learn from the mistakes of the past.
In addition, it’s all too easy to rationalize that such things could never happen here. Our country is too big to fail. We are the financial anchor of the world with the dollar being used as the international reserve currency. Things might get a little tough but we’ll never fail, right?
Remember the definition of insanity. Is our country doing the same things over and over expecting a different result? Are we repeating and implementing failed practices of other countries throughout the world? Are we moving forward with the attitude that “this time things will be different”?
It doesn’t take long reading and watching the news to realize that’s exactly what we’re doing. Our “beloved” politicians continue to try and please the masses (so they can keep their jobs) with financial plans and programs that we absolutely cannot afford and that will lead us to destruction.
I have a friend who is a recovering alcoholic. The definition of insanity we’ve been discussing was the pattern of his life. Indeed, he knew he needed to make the hard decisions and take the actions to start down the road to recovery but he initially wasn’t willing to learn from the experience of others. He had his own plan which was unfortunately just repeating his feeble efforts to cut down on his drinking, but it never worked.
He saw himself as someone different – unlike all the other alcoholics. In his mind, his circumstances were unique and he saw himself with will power and abilities others didn’t have. Unfortunately, it was all just in his mind. He wasn’t different. To begin the healing and recovery process, he had to admit it and be willing to do the difficult and often painful things to turn his life around.
That’s one of the biggest problems with this whole insanity thing – most of us are not willing to do the difficult and painful things that will change our lives for the better.
Let’s face it, there’s very little, if anything we personally can do that will keep our country from heading down the path of financial ruin. We are so far beyond the stage of bankruptcy (base on the definition you and I know and understand) that to turn this ship around and pay off our debts is nowhere near reality.
The only way these overwhelming financial issues can be corrected is through a major reset. And such a reset will create a monumental hardship for us all. It’s no longer a question of “IF”, but “WHEN”. And we will not be receiving much of a warning as to when it will all hit the fan.
When we’re finally ready to embrace the idea that our country cannot continue to go down the financial path we’re on, then we’re in a position to do something about it. Since we can’t change the direction our government is taking us, we need to focus on the direction we’re taking our own families.
We need to earnestly prepare for the day when our precious dollar may be worthless. How will we feed our families? How will we provide for their needs? Where will we live? How can we survive?
Please take the time now to create a survival game plan for you and your family. The need has never been greater. The day will come, sooner rather than later, that you will be so very grateful you did! Don’t allow yourself to be drawn into the ease of complacency. Don’t allow the consequences of insane behavior to jeopardize your family’s future. Be willing to do the difficult and painful things now for the sake of your loved ones.