Hat tip: Dave Ranallo
Guest contributor for the Liberty Voice
Newsweek put it best on their latest issue – “We’re all Socialists Now.” And indeed it’s true now and has been true to some degree since since WWI. After that war and especially after WWII, triumphalism and patriotism in our government swelled to the point of utopia (Anyone up for a “Great Society”?). The confidence in central planning and government was all the rage at the turn of the 20th century as witnessed by the creation of the Federal Reserve in 1913 and even in Russia with the Bolshevik Revolution in 1917. Every US administration since that time has increased the size of government represented as either a % of GDP or increase in the Federal Register.
And yes, even Reagan admitted that he was only able to decrease the RATE at which government increased. It still swelled to outrageous numbers due his exorbitant funding of the military-industrial complex, which Eisenhower warned about during his farewell address.
I’m fiscally conservative, socially liberal and a believer in empirical truth. This means my beliefs tick off everyone. Liberals get upset when I say central planning of an economy destroys individual freedom, is exceptionally wasteful and eventually leads to abuses of power by seemingly well-intentioned people. While many conservatives would heartily agree with that last statement, they can’t quite see their own hypocrisy when people like me say you can’t legislate morality or that spreading the message of freedom by gunpoint only generates hate for the U.S. Until both these groups and the rest of us understand that control over millions or, really, numbers greater than one are impermanent illusions, then we’ll continue to debate the same insipid arguments forever.
Why do I write these screeds?
Obama ran his campaign on a platform of hope and knowledge vs. fear and ignorance. The problem with his version of hope is that half its contents are based on ideas that don’t and have never worked namely the central planning of an economy. (Don’t fool yourself into thinking McCain would have done things differently…he was cheerleading the original TARP last year during election season, is a corporatist and his economic advisers included John Thain and other big government spenders.) These powerful men and administrations have used the same tactic to attain more power for the government – FEAR. From Woodrow Wilson all the way up to Obama’s “Financial Catastrophe”, our leaders have abused their bully pulpits and used our own collective ignorance of international affairs and economics against us.
This is not a complete condemnation of our government or any government for that matter. These power brokers probably had the best intentions to keep US interests at the forefront while spreading goodness and democracy to all. However, two axioms come to mind:
Combining these truisms with our amnesic, frenetic and short-term thinking lifestyles, we open ourselves up for for easy abuse by the powers that be.
With the understanding of fear-as-power, the only way to successfully combat it is with knowledge. As with most things, someone else says it better or discovered it earlier. If you have the time, please read the below and watch the following videos. If you don’t have the time, make some…at the very least it will allow you to begin making sense of everything that’s happening today and to position yourself for a worst case, but highly probable, scenario.
These dire predictions are inevitable unless we change our course. I mean come on…our problem is too much debt and too much spending, so our govt tells us to do the EXACT same thing. That’s a solution? Would you tell a fat person who wants to lose weight to eat more Ho Ho’s and Ding Dong’s?
The probability of these events occurring over the next 1-3 yrs is much greater than 50/50. You’ll be able to watch the end game play out plainly now that we’re “socialized” and interest rates are near 0%. Unless our leaders do the exact opposite of what we’re doing now (like Paul Volker did in 1981), then the following events will occur:
This may be a “doomsday” prediction and, hopefully, we wise up. However, I’d bet against it. Our system of govt is set up to be slow (that’s good!) and the political culture is too myopic and short-term focused (when’s the next election?).
These views seem contrary to the history lessons we learned in school and definitely run contrary to what mainstream pundits/TV newspeople are saying. Why are so many of us fooled? There are many reasons for people in general but, for those few people “influencing the game”, the main ones besides out-and-out power grabs and greed are POLITICAL CORRECTNESS and too many people living in a ZERO SUM WORLD, i.e. win-lose mentalities.
Political correctness has morphed from adding hyphens to words (Asian-American, Afro-Centric, etc.) thus avoiding “inappropriate” language into some sort of positive reinforcement/self esteem police. I know for a fact that if anyone publicly states that an organization or an individual has performed poorly, they’re considered jerkweeds unfit for their position. For instance, if an authority figure states publicly that the Department of Education does an exceptionally poor job of teaching children to learn, they’d be vilified by every teacher’s union, public school student and DOE bureaucrat despite the statistics demonstrating we’re terrible compared to the rest of the world. Have you wondered why stating obvious truths in public is considered a “gaffe” by the media resulting in unelectability or resignation? Even private schools and colleges have to toe-the-line or risk getting sued for teaching “un-American” classes or forcing teachers/administrators to resign because of inappropriate thought experiments. How many college professors receive govt research grants whose main premise is that govt isn’t the answer? Not many. Political correctness destroys the truth.
As for living in a ZERO SUM WORLD…unless you’ve owned a business or tried to sell something in a “win-win” environment, you probably don’t understand capitalism and free markets. If you’re a lawyer, athlete, pundit/journalist, actor, politician, govt bureaucrat, priest, teacher, academic, engineer, doctor, healthcare administrator and even business people in operations and IT, you most likely live in a ZERO SUM WORLD. Meaning, if one side wins, the other loses. Synergy/”expanding the pie”/capitalism is completely unknown to most of these folks. Think about it…in their world, it’s always “if I win, you lose”. There are only so many jobs at the NY Times, roles in a movie, positions at Yale, seats in Congress, budgets to allocate or stances in a trial case.
Reviewing that list of professions again, you’ll notice this group also captures most Americans and especially those who publicly debate these critical issues. If all you know is win-lose, you’ll have a very difficult time internalizing the concepts of win-win economics. Why do most news’ headlines report items as if everything is a sporting event with winners and losers? Because, that’s what most people know! If you don’t understand a win-win world, you’ll think capitalism and free markets hurt more than help. Instead, free markets and conducting activities that produce value “expand the pie” giving more to everyone, who wants to voluntarily participate.
Peeps, I’ve already done most of the legwork here and have pretty much exhausted my knowledge capital. So, please just take a few hours of OPEN-MINDED THOUGHT over the next month or so to familiarize yourself with these concepts. Then, read the news with this lens to see for yourself. This exercise will generate a hefty dose of cognitive dissonance in your brains. It took me over 6 yrs right after I graduated college to begin fully grasping and DEPROGRAMMING my mind from this constant bombardment of fallacy. It shook me to my core and weakened my confidence in everything I just had learned over 16 yrs of schooling. However, I came out of it better, stronger and more confident that individual freedom, small but strong government, free markets and openness is the right path. Take the intellectual leap!
As the great William Wallace from “Braveheart” once said, “FREEDOM!“