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The Dow Jones falls for a second straight day, but despair not! Plus: why government is like a big dumb rock.

November 8, 2012

Not quite as much today as yesterday, but still, the Dow Jones fell over 120 points today. That’s over 430 points down in the two days following President Obama’s re-election.

Which may be just a funny coincidence. Or maybe not. Oh, I’m sure the election had something to do with it, but this is hardly the first time the DJIA has lost 2-3% in a single day. It’ll go up again.

Point being: people are still going to try. Nobody’s really going to go Galt (read: Rachel Lucas, hat tip Owen). People want to make their money. I want to make my money, because I intend to live a long time, have many grandchildren, and buy them many presents while still taking my wife on the long vacations I promised her before we were married.

And this – Obamaland – is the world I have in which to make my money. And it’s the world you have. It’s harder than it should be, and it’s going to get harder still. But we can’t just stop trying. We only get one shot.

And here’s something else to keep in mind: money is like water. It flows along the path of least resistance. Put a big boulder in a stream, the stream will flow to either side. Block the river entirely, and the water will rise until it goes over, or around, or just finds a different way. It never just stops.

That’s why the black market tends to grow inversely relative to taxes and regulations. But like all metaphors, this one has limits. Government isn’t like a rock. You can’t work with a rock. You can’t deal with a rock.

With government, you can deal.

That’s why millions upon millions of dollars are spent on lobbying every year. That’s why over $2 billion (or so I read) was spent on the presidential election. Because sometimes the path of least resistance is…move the rock. People know they can move the rock around. A little bit this way, a little bit that way…let my water flow just a little bit faster. Slow that guy’s down.

On Tuesday, we as a nation chose to make the rock bigger. Not willingly – not all of us. But regardless, the money will flow. And that will make those who willingly made the rock bigger think: if only we could make it even bigger.

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