King George III, 1779
Artist: Benjamin West
Source: Wikimedia Commons
As I think about the events of the past, I can't help but play out numerous "what if" scenarios. Here's one that occurred to me last week:
At a time when tax payer-funded boondoggles and extravagant visits to foreign countries have become the norm, it’s interesting to realize that this wasn’t always the way state leaders spent their time nor their subject’s/constituent’s money.
For example, King George III never visited his subjects, loyal or otherwise, in the American colonies. Granted, there were the dangers and time involved in crossing the ocean to contend with. To risk his royal neck for a visit might be asking a bit much. In a way, Colonial America bears a striking resemblance to fly-over country today—perhaps with the exception of Iowa at the start of election season.
Anyway, I’m not saying that sovereigns of the 18th and 19th century were any more frugal than today’s elected leaders. After all, budget deficits were a major factor leading to both the American and the French Revolution.