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Hitler SaluteSome time back the OECD published a piece called "Trust in Government". This piece serves as an introduction to other pieces that presumably "demonstrate" how valuable OECD endeavours are (i.e. job security for bureaucrats) by extoling the virtues of government. Today we are going to take a critical look at its contents because it summarizes the viewpoint politicians have of people as reflected by OECD apparatchiks. At a later date, we will take issue with related articles.

IT'S THE ECONOMY, STUPID

The article begins by stating that trust in government is deteriorating in many OECD countries. In order to demonstrate this, they published the graph below, showing just how bad this deterioration has been.

This graph does not contain information from all countries, just the most sensationalistic ones. The average confidence in the government for all OECD countries is about 40%. What this indicates is that on average only 4 out of 10 people in developed countries trust the government. In other words, 6 do no.

Furthermore as the data points selected to create this plot take into consideration the 2008 debacle (which is and atypical phenomenon for OECD countries) it further emphasizes the importance of the economy in trust matters. As a matter of fact, the economy is the engine of political evolution (see for example Political Systems Lifecycle ). This simple truth has not escaped OECD apparatchiks however their overwhelming socialist point of view has tinted everything.

If we take the confidence numbers the OECD used and we plot them against our DVI index (an index measuring how fast government move towards a default point) we obtain the following picture:

Confidence vs. Defaults

Confidence is represented on a scale from 0% to 100% (zero meaning no confidence and all and 100 meaning complete trust). The DVI index is indicated by the number of years a country is away from a default point and the direction it is going (see the DVI index for an in-depth explanation). For clarity purposes, we have also added a trend line in red. What this trend line indicates (in general terms) is that:

The closer a country is to the default point, the less confidence people have.

Should this be a surprise? Of course not. This only emphasizes the modus-operandi of politicians. Basically, they spend and then they must outspend their political adversaries to stay in power (i.e. to retain their jobs). As politicians spend, they will increase their use of the unholy trinity: tax, borrow and print. Eventually, these sources of spending become more and more inefficient up to a point were two things happen:

  • Enormous amounts of wealth are syphoned out of the country to pay for debt interest
  • Money printing becomes the source of spending

A direct consequence of these two facts is economic debacle (poverty, stagnation and galloping inflation). Furthermore, the closer a country is to its default point, the more desperately politicians will print. Hence, the closer a country is to a default point, the worse the economy will perform and this is the main source of the increasing lack of confidence. Anybody surprised of this result yet? No? Yet, somehow, the OECD missed this point entirely. Somehow… what a surprise…

From this point on the OECD article issues summary statements that are at the core of our complaints.

THE 40% REALITY

Let's begin.

Lack of trust compromises the willingness of citizens and business to respond to public policies and contribute to a sustainable economic recovery.

This one is really funny. The way it is stated it would seem to indicate that lack of trust is hampering a sustainable economic recovery. Well…not a chance in hell.

Let's remember that the 2008 debacle was caused by government through the expedient means of keeping interest rates at ridiculously low levels for several previous years, hence forcing banks to get profits wherever they could, which included sub-prime mortgages. Should Central Banks not exist, the 2008 debacle would have never taken place because interest rates would have been determined by free markets making sub-prime mortgages a financial impossibility. The need for a "sustainable economic recovery" is only there because of a government-produced economic debacle. Besides, what exactly is the meaning of "sustainable", considering that all governments are deep, deep into debt? Does the OECD consider that going so deep into debt is somehow "sustainable"? It would seem so. In other words, the OECD considers that if you spend to a point where you max out all your credit lines and credit cards, your spending is "sustainable". Got it.

Then we have the notion that somehow the public is hampering the heroic acts of governments through public policies by not being willing to respond to them. So… people got screwed in 2008 by government policies and now this same people are supposed to trust the government again to fix them? And if they don't do so they are somehow unwilling (evil?) as in they are taking a concious decision not to trust? Well… YEAH!!! Only socialistic apparatchiks can think this way: all authority comes from the government and the government is always right. Reality does not count. Nothing to think here… move on… move on… and obey.

Then we also have the "contribution" piece. So let's see if we understand this correctly. People are supposed to "contribute" to a "sustainable economic recovery". Aha. Uhu. And who else is "contributing" to it? The government is certainly not doing it since government do not create wealth, they only consume it. So, if people are not doing it and governments are not doing it, then who is? The economic fairy mother? Give us a break. Let's be clear. People with their economic activity are the only ones who are doing the only thing that will bail out governments from the depths of debt politicians have buried them: producie wealth. People do not want to respond to "public policies" because they do not have a financial death wish. Again, only an apparatchik whose job is secured and inflation-proof can come up with such a ridiculous statement. Is this kind of reverse propaganda that communist PR was famous during the "glorious" days of Stalinism: "we are so free we have given our freedom away". In this case it would be: we are so free we have given our wealth away. OK. Message received. We only wish the OECD would distribute their reports on printed matter for free, preferably on a thoroughly absorbent and soft paper. If delivered in a small roll, that would be perfect.

THE IMPORTANCE OF TRUST

Trust is important for the success of a wide range of public policies that depend on behavioural responses from the public.

In essence what this means is that the public's role is to obey. They must behave as public policies determine. Furthermore, people should not obey because they are convinced or accept such public policies, but because they trust the government. It is not sufficient that the government has the power to force people to behave as it says it should, but on top of that, people must be thoroughly brainwashed into trusting the government. People are not supposed to argue, debate, question, issue opinions or analyze public policy. They must only obey. Got it.

Even if we could somehow stomach all this insulting nonsense, a tiny issue remains here: people are supposed to create public policies. People are supposed to determine them. The way the paragraph is written, the implications are clear: public policies are not determined by the people; they are imposed onto them. If people reject public policies through their behaviour this simply means that they don't want them. But if they don't want them, who created and imposed them in the first place? By what means? Democracy is supposed to be representative, this is, the will of the people is supposed to prevail. If people go against public policies this simply means that public policies do not represent the will of the people! And yet… we must obey them... at least according to the OECD.

Again, only a socialistic apparatchik can think in these terms. Obey, obey, obey! Oh… and by the way, don't think!

Trust is necessary to increase the confidence of investors and consumers.

Really? Seriously? And we thought that investors and consumers just throw their money randomly at investments and purchases. Silly us. This statement somehow tries to shift guilt towards people by making them believe that by not trusting "public policies" they are somehow decreasing the confidence of investors and consumers. Well… zippidy do! So the government creates systemic and systematic economic debacles which systemically and systematically destroy investment and consumer confidence but never you mind! You must trust anyways! Because we say so. If not, you are guilty of not trusting and in so doing you are undermining the "sustainable economic recovery" that governments are working so hard to achieve (even if they don't actually do anything while spending your money in so doing). Clear as mud… we would suggest governments use Cuneiform tablets to write down their edicts and at least put all this mud to good use, but we are afraid of making stupid suggestions, chances are excellent some apparatchik will actually implement them.

Trust in institutions is important for the success of many government policies, programmes and regulations that depend on cooperation and compliance of citizens.

And here we do gain. Obey… obey… OBEY! We, the government, are telling you how it is, what to do and when to do it. Be docile. Be cooperative. Be compliant. In other words, don't argue, don’t debate, don't inquire, don't analyze, don't think. Just trust us… and if you don't, well… we have all the militarized police we can possibly need (see Police Militarization - A World-Wide Trend ).

CONCLUSION

This OECD piece is not important in the sense that it won't have any influence whatsoever on people or governments. People and politicians simply ignore the OECD. This piece is important because it lays bare the point of view of politicians but more importantly, bureaucrats. You must always remember that although your life is controlled by politicians (at a high level), at everyday's level it’s the bureaucratic machine that grinds you. Statistics like these ones indicate that people are moving in the right direction: Libertarianism. Their shift is aided and abetted by the politicians themselves without any external help. Although we know that the voyage will be lengthy and difficult, we are nevertheless encouraged by the signs along the road.

But then again, if you believe that obeying is your way of life, then enjoy the ride. We guarantee it will be bumpy and it won't have a happy ending.

Note: please see the Glossary if you are unfamiliar with certain words.

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