Cornbread Thinks: Politics & Us

I generally dislike politics and politicians. There is no escaping them though. If you don’t pay attention to them, “they” don’t pay attention to you. For a fee, you can hire someone to do this for you. These people are called lobbyists. Some have titles that belie what they do, i.e. executive director of a non-profit trade organization. They still must register as a lobbyist. It is no job for an amateur. Or idealist. Or anyone who sees things in white and black.

Lawmaking is not a genteel sport. Campaigns run on money. Lobbyists have money. It will get them in the door. The most powerful currency, though, is in votes. Not ballot box votes, the legislator’s vote. “I will trade you two ‘yes’ votes on that highway for a ‘no’ vote on this tax hike.”

The horse industry, and cutting in particular, has more concerns than people realize. Some – estate, property and income taxes – are strobe lights. Taxes on our suppliers are harder to understand, as are tariffs on agricultural products. If Italy or Spain wanted to improve their leather industry by tariffing American cow hides out, cows lose value here.

There’s lots of conversation right now about “American” jobs and the U.S. economy. In my opinion, this is a politician’s straw dog. A distraction. We live, and have for a very long time, in a global economy. All countries and their boss-mens are trying to improve their economies, too. A lot of them appear to exploit their populations to do this. In truth, creating a job that pays 10 percent of what the same job in the U.S. does makes them a hero, because they were making nothing before. No amount of “buy American” is going to get Americans to pay significantly more for the equal product.

Like the National Cutting Horse Association’s (NCHA) job of creating a class for all levels, the government’s job is to create an economy for everyone. The most basic definition means “keep the money moving.” It is people’s responsibility to figure out how to “cut” some from the herd. Some people are better at it than others. It is a God-given talent, no different from training a horse.

People have made billions by keeping one penny out of $100, others by $99 out of $100. Some just got lucky – born with it, divorced well, rode the coattails of a friend who went public, won a lottery, threw a ball best. There is no end to the way people make money. Leo Fikes made millions cleaning toilets.

As I write, Texas is having an “emergency” with some funding for horse racing. It is, like most of these deals, ridiculous. Kinda like a volunteer fire department starting fires so they can get a new fire truck. It will get resolved, but you can bet the shortfall came from a part of the budget somebody wasn’t watching over. Poor Peter.