“Ask Not What Your Country Can Do For You…”

David Reavill
5 min readNov 9, 2022
John F. Kennedy, 35th US President

Nearly 62 years ago, a young Senator from Massachusetts was sworn in as the Nation’s 35th President. John F. Kennedy challenged the nation to look at the Government in a new light.

“Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.”

For those who were around back then, it became a rallying cry for people who wished to achieve more in their public and private lives. It galvanized the country into a “can do” initiative that called on each citizen to contribute more than they consumed to build a great nation through the contribution of everyone.

Yesterday many of us participated in one of the great civic traditions in this country, and we voted. Elections are our quintessential duty and a privileged of us all. It provides the opportunity to vote for the candidates of our choice. But perhaps equally as important, it puts the most critical issues before us. It is a chance to see the differences between competing political parties. What distinguishes one party from another?

Today, the nation faces many challenges: the real threat of the Global War, the crisis in energy and food, and the problem of runaway inflation. Although we could mention more, these four issues represent actual heartache for many. Global War, in particular, represents an existential threat to this country. Each day, we come closer and closer to an all-out conflict over Ukraine. Just weeks from now, Winter begins, and people worry that they won’t be able to heat their homes. Early reports indicate that this year’s harvests may fall short of the projection. And, of course, we are all suffering the effects of diminished purchasing power.

So, during this election season, I thought I would head to the White House Website to see how the President and his administration address these issues.

In the back of my mind, I’m thinking of Kennedy’s words about rugged individualism and how a nation of self-reliant individuals could deal with these current problems. We could be the country that promotes peace in Ukraine or provides abundant food and energy, as we have done so many times. And we could be the country that gets our financial house in order and ends our profligate spending.

But if that were what I thought I’d see from this President, I was sadly mistaken. Peace, abundance, and frugality have no place in today’s Democrat Party. At least if Joe Biden is its proper representative.

Instead, looking at the White House dot gov, you find the complete inversion of John Kennedy’s sentiments. The White House headlines the front page of its website with four “Build Back Better” Programs.

Student Loan Debt Relief
Free Covid-19 Vaccines
Free Internet, called the Affordable Connectivity Program
Access to Abortion.

It’s a list that is a far cry from the challenge issued by President Kennedy so long ago. Biden has transformed the Presidency into the Candyman, asking, “what flavor would you like?” A new motto of “Just ask how your country can serve you.”

These sentiments are the complete reversal of the view of President Kennedy.

Unfortunately, history will not likely allow Biden to merely pass out bonbons. And listing social programs may help bring out voters at election time, but they won’t solve today’s global issues. There are real challenges that we face.

We risk a thermonuclear war with Russia, which has more nuclear weapons than we do. Reports from Ukraine last week indicated that there are already American boots on the ground in that country. Yet Biden has not appeared before Congress or the American People to explain his strategy in that beleaguered country. Why? What is his objective?

Without diesel, this country grinds to a halt. Trucks and trains run on diesel. Without trucks and trains, nothing gets delivered, no food, no supplies, and no gasoline. Last week there were reports that diesel stations were out of fuel in the South. Indications are that the diesel shortage will work its way up the east coast.

There is a looming threat of food shortages. The President can mitigate the problems of a low harvest by canceling overseas grain sales and transitioning corn to be used exclusively for food. Yet we continue to ship much of our food overseas and burn it in our automobiles (ethanol).

It’s incredible how far we’ve come as a nation in these 62 years since Kennedy. We’ve prospered like no other country in history. We have been blessed, beyond measure, with peace and prosperity. We’ve enjoyed bountiful harvest after bountiful harvest.

However, as history teaches, someday, that will end. Many indications are that this may happen this year. In which case, it’s time to end this Government Candy-man mentality. To reach back and see “what we can do for our country.”

Econ Briefs

Major Inflation news is coming out of China this morning. The headline report is for inflation at the consumer level, China’s equivalent to the CPI. Here inflation declined to just 2.1% on an annual basis — Down 7/10th% from the month before and the lowest level in 5 months.

However, the Chinese reading on inflation at the Producer level was more significant. Producers saw their prices go negative, declining by 1.3% in October. While this might appear to be a good thing to those in the West, it indicates how rapidly the Chinese economy is deteriorating. Lower prices signal a decline in demand for Chinese products.

And because China is the world’s manufacturing center, this is one more indication that a World Wide Recession is approaching.

Like the US Federal Reserve last year, the Chinese Central Bank has a target inflation rate of 3%. Not because the Chinese like inflation but because inflation at that level would indicate demand throughout the economy remains strong. The fact that Producer Prices have gone into deflation, less than zero inflation, tells us that demand in China, and by inference globally, has cratered.

Here in the US, where higher energy costs drive inflation, we will see the latest in Oil and Gas storage. Both show that we continue to draw down our supplies more than replenish them. Oil storage has declined in 7 out of the last 12 months this year, although analysts hope to see an increase in storage this month.

However, gasoline continues to be another story. For nine months this year, we’ve drawn down more gasoline than we’ve produced, and Wall Street expects that to be the case today. Look for yet another drawdown in gas in today’s report. And an indication that higher prices are coming to the gas pump shortly.

In other economic news this morning, the Mortgage Bankers have reported that 30-year mortgage interest now costs 7.14%, up eight basis points in just a week. Any more questions about why Real Estate is performing poorly?

And right on Que, DR Horton, one of the nation’s largest home builders, has reported disappointing earnings this morning. Also down on their results is video game maker Roblox.



David Reavill

David Reavill writer + finance +iconoclast + hiker + Pennsylvania #valueside daily podcast + medium + meditate valueside.com/links