Action trumps hope

I woke up this morning to a flurry of emails– “Did you watch the State of the Union address last night?” I did not. Rather, I was busy sharing a delightful meal at one of my favorite restaurants with some close friends; I didn’t even know that the speech was going on yesterday.

When you break away from the confines of a single geography, the political theater becomes completely irrelevant. And State of the Union addresses represent the absolute worst of this absurdity.  All the applause, the silly introduction traditions, and of course, the Newspeak. A quick glance at the transcript from last night shows plenty of gems, such as:

1) US military involvement in Iraq “has made America safer and more respected.” No comment.

2) “In the last 22-months, businesses have created more than 3 million jobs.” Nevermind that the BLS’s own statistics show that the employment to population ratio has been steadily dropping since 2006.

3) “Take the money we’re no longer spending at war, use half of it to pay down our debt, and use the rest to do some nation-building right here at home.” Regrettably, the government was borrowing all of that money to begin with… so in essence the President is asking to take half of borrowed money to pay back borrowed money.

4) “Your country will do everything it can to help you succeed.”

5) “But challenges remain. And we know how to solve them.”

Those last two are among the best, particularly when viewed in light of recent legislation that has been introduced, such as:

HR 3798, which requires a uniform national standard for the housing and treatment of egg-laying hens;

HR 3791, which would require certain American companies to undergo an additional level of reporting bureaucracy in how much they pay women and minorities;

HR 3784, which would impose a windfall profits tax on oil, natural gas, and related products production;

… and my favorite …

HR 3806, a bill submitted for ending “the practice of including more than one subject in a single bill… AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES.”

It would be funny if it weren’t all true.

Just as elections do every four-years, State of the Union addresses give people an annual dose of hope… that whoever is in office has a credible plan to fix all the problems. To improve education, to take care of seniors, to win the peace, to bolster the economy, to create jobs.

Sure, it may be inspiring. But ultimately, like campaign promises and electoral rhetoric, it’s just hot air. Real hope and inspiration comes from within… from embracing self-reliance and taking charge of your own destiny.

A lot of people are waiting for their politicians to serve up opportunity and job skills on a silver platter. This is simply not going to happen. Politicians don’t create jobs (unless they’re unproductive government jobs). The market creates jobs. And those jobs are based on products, skills, and services that are in demand.

The opportunities are out there, no doubt. Down here in Chile, droves of new software and biotech companies are flourishing. My friends in Singapore tell me that they can’t find enough workers to hire in finance, real estate, and personal services. Unemployment in Hong Kong is just 3.3%.

Our partner Tim Staermose recently wrote about several business opportunities in the Philippines that he is personally financing. And this Friday, our monthly Sovereign Confidential teleconference is dedicated to unique opportunities in Mongolia.

Things might seem a bit slow where you live, but the world is a big place full of possibilities. And action trumps hope any day.

About the author

Simon Black

About the author

James Hickman (aka Simon Black) is an international investor, entrepreneur, and founder of Sovereign Research. His free daily e-letter Notes from the Field is about using the experiences from his life and travels to help you achieve more freedom, make more money, keep more of it, and protect it all from bankrupt governments.

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