The Nature of Things November 21, 2013Posted by Dr. Robert Owens in Politics.
Tags: central-planning, collectivist, communist, Dr. Robert Owens, fascist, progressive, socialist, Utopia, utopian schemes
When my grandmother was born a horse was the normal means of transport. When my granddaughter was born the International Space Striation was the brightest light in the night’s sky. In other words, things change. When I sat on the couch and watched the first man walk on the moon with my grandmother she didn’t believe it was real. When I tell my low information neighbors that the International Space Striation is the brightest light in the night’s sky they don’t believe it is true. In other words, human nature doesn’t change.
To allow our leaders, our fellow citizens, our own kith and kin the charitable label of misguided dreamers is the closest I can come to innocently explaining their roles as either accomplices or instigators of our national decline. I try to tell myself they are as Lenin and Stalin are reputed to have called them, “Useful Idiots:” well-meaning people who genuinely believe central planning will help the needy. I try not to let myself think the Progressives and their supporters are actually extremely corrupt and evil people who are actively attempting to transform our beloved experiment in freedom into another forced labor camp striving to achieve Utopia.
The problem with utopian dreams is that they always end in dystopian realities. Lenin’s dream of a worker’s paradise transformed itself into Stalin’s nightmare of the gulags, starvation, and the eventual destruction of their nation. Mussolini’s dream of a return to the glories of Rome led directly to the loss of the empire they had and the destruction of their nation. Hitler’s dream of a Thousand Year Reich led directly to the Gestapo, the holocaust, the worst war in History, and the destruction of their nation.
How can we believe we can follow a dream of utopia to any other end than the one everyone else has arrived at: the dust bin of History?
Some may say, “But we are Americans, and we have always done the things others could not do.” You will find no more ardent believer in American Exceptionalism than I. I truly believe, not that diversity is our strength but instead that the blending of all into a uniquely American hybrid has created the most talented, most dynamic, and most successful nation the world has ever known. It is not the will or the talents of our homegrown American collectivists that I question; it is the very nature of collectivism that I maintain makes the accomplishment of their utopian dream impossible.
People can have the best of intentions; however, if they believe they can take from Peter to pay Paul without making Peter resent the fact that he has less than he had before they don’t know Peter very well. And if they think they can set Paul up as a perpetual recipient of the swag taken from Peter without creating a pool of Paul’s who constantly want more and who resent those who do the distributing they have never worked in a soup kitchen, a food bank, or a giveaway store for more than a day.
The vast majority of people are not by nature altruistic milk cows, and they resent it when that is how they are viewed by the nameless faceless bureaucracy necessary to make the machinery of utopia crank out the shabby imitation they deliver. Conversely the vast majority of people are not by nature perpetual mooches content to stand with their hands out waiting for the nameless faceless bureaucracy to deliver the bare minimum needed to survive which is always the bounty that actually drops from the utopian extruder.
I contend that a collectivist redistribution Utopia whether it is called Progressive, Socialist, Communist, Fascist, or merely the right thing to do is contrary to the nature of humanity.
People by nature want to be self-reliant. They want to make things better for themselves and their children. People want to strive for something noble, and they want to feel as if their lives matter. Yet in an industrial world divided into haves and have nots it is easy to understand how the frustration of being a have not can convince someone that there needs to be a more equitable division of the material goods which modern civilization abundantly provides.
Having come from a blue collar family and having spent the majority of my life as a self-employed boom or bust house painter I can well relate to not having health insurance because you can’t afford it, I couldn’t. I can relate to having mornings where you don’t know what you will feed your family that night because I have had those days. I know what it is like to be a high school dropout who can’t get anything except a menial low paying job, because I have been that person. Yes, I can relate to the situations which might make a person believe we need to spread the wealth around.
I also know what it feels like to have to get food stamps and other things from public and private assistance just to make it through the day because I have done so. I know how the welfare people make you feel, the way they treat you as if you are trying to take their personal money or the condescension of pity.
What I can’t relate to is either thinking it is a good thing to consign our fellow citizens to such a life or to being satisfied with such a life.
Not only does a welfare state corrupt both the dispensers and the recipients it carries the seeds of its own destruction. Eventually the recipients will want more than the dispensers are willing to give, and revolution or collapse will be the end result.
In addition, since redistribution as a state policy always means stealing from Peter to pay Paul, ultimately the thief will need a gun. Though Peter may be a nice person and at first say, “Sure I can contribute something to help poor old Paul,” if poor old Paul never gets back on his feet sooner or later Peter will wonder why Paul doesn’t start providing for himself. At that point the contributions are no longer voluntary and they must be taken one way or another. There is also the question of how many Pauls can Peter carry without either shrugging like Atlas or becoming a Paul himself in self-defense. As Margret Thatcher taught us, “The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people’s money.”
Plunder empires always collapse. Utopias always end up eating the goose that laid the golden egg. Central planning and collectivism: the Progressive dream for a Great Society has never, can never, and will never succeed. It just isn’t natural.
Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion. He is the Historian of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com © 2013 Robert R. Owens firstname.lastname@example.org Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook or Twitter @ Drrobertowens / Edited by Dr. Rosalie Owens
Step by Step Inch by Inch November 15, 2013Posted by Dr. Robert Owens in Politics.
Tags: central-planning, Dr. Robert Owens, fundamentally transform America, Obama’s agenda, Progressive agenda, socialist agenda
1 comment so far
How do you fundamentally transform a nation from what it has been to what a clique of ideologues wants it to be? The easiest way is to convince the general population that what the would-be masters want is what the people want. Those seeking to subvert a culture must take a long view. They must realize that this will be a multistage project that will take generations to achieve.
As an example that will strike home and ring true to every engaged American let’s look at how the Progressives have incrementally moved us from the best educated, most politically engaged population in History to a flock of militantly apathetic fans. Couch potatoes waiting for the next game or reality show unaware how our government operates and impatient with anyone who tries to explain it to them. How did they nudged us from the most self-reliant people in the world to a line of people waiting hat in hand for the next transfer payment?
The first goal was the educational system. Capture that and it was possible to raise up generations who either thought as they did or who didn’t think at all. Dumb it down, exchange confused thinking for critical thinking and soon the people who once asked hard questions will swallow easy answers. The best place to start is at the colleges and universities. If you can convince a generation of teachers that the snake-oil you’re selling will cure everything you will soon have them indoctrinating generations that the sickness is really the cure.
A target of particular interest is of course was journalism schools. Once these schools become factories churning out carbon copies it isn’t necessary to have an official propaganda ministry. The journalists themselves will self-censor anything that doesn’t fit the reality they imbibed along with the Kool-aide. Once the editorial boards and the human resource departments are filled with clones none but clones need apply. Today the portals of American media are filled with people who don’t even know someone who is pro-life. They don’t know anyone who sympathizes with the Tea Party. So those on the other side are always the other. There is no understanding or compassion for thoughts and ideas they find foreign and alien even though they represent the thinking of the majority of Americans. So as we cling to our Bibles and our guns the megaphones of the public discourse represent mainstream America as a fringe while holding up a cross section of the Jerry Springer Show or the Gong Show as the new normal.
The next target in America’s transition from a society built upon individualism, self-reliance and innovation into a centrally-planned experiment in utopian collectivism might have been the hardest or it might have been the easiest: capitalism itself.
As layer after layer of regulations entangled the economy there came a tipping point. This was reached when government interference in the economy became the dominant feature. Then business decisions were no longer made because they were right but instead because of how they intersected with government policy. Look at the stock market today. It no longer moves due to innovation or even speculation it instead moves like a marionette to the strings pulled by the Federal Reserve. It reacts to real, perceived or imagined government actions.
No longer do we have Henry Fords or J. D. Rockefellers moving and shaking the economy to build industries. Now we have crony capitalists who use their connections to get sweetheart deals, tax subsidies and bailouts. Too Big to Fail has replaced Laissez-faire and it is no longer what you know but who you know that brings success in America.
The most insidious aspect of this incremental transformation of America is what it has done to truth. Once thought to be an objective reality, in a centralized utopia truth must become whatever endorses and supports the efforts to reach the designated goals. If necessary, good becomes bad, up becomes down and dark becomes light if that is what is required to make the assumptions and conclusions of the planners plausible.
War becomes peace. Inequality becomes equality. Pork becomes stimulus. Stonewalling and taking the fifth becomes the most transparent administration in history and the destruction of the greatest health system ever known becomes affordable care.
As the meanings of words change it becomes increasingly hard to hold an intelligent conversation, because no one is sure what anyone else means. This cannot be viewed as the natural evolution of language. This is a direct by-product of the effort to centrally-plan a society. Since all efforts must be bent to the centrally directed goals all thoughts must be shaped to conform to the politically correct thoughts of the leaders. All other thoughts become suspect and are held up to ridicule.
The prevailing mood of cynicism and the general intellectual climate that this produces brings about the loss of even the meaning of truth. Truth becomes relative. It is wholly dependent upon political considerations as the spirit of independent inquiry itself disappears. Under the constant barrage of the all-embracing central government and their willing allies in the media the belief in the power of rational conviction fades from view and only the official line seems to make sense to those who through either apathy or complacency swallow the party line and march in lock-step from freedom to serfdom.
The desire to force people to accept a creed and to salute the flag is nothing new. What is new is the justification for doing so that lies at the basis of our current round of communal thought control. It is believed by some that there is no real freedom of thought in any society at all. The thoughts of the masses have always been and will always be shaped by what we now call propaganda or governmental advertising by the laws and regulations of the leaders and the example of the upper classes. Those who wish to regiment thought and control opinion act as if since this is so it is incumbent upon them to direct the thoughts of the masses into a desirable direction. Or in other words a direction that supports the movement towards the goals and objectives previously chosen by the central planners.
Incrementally, step by step, inch by inch the highly individualistic descendants of the pioneers have become a mob clamoring for bread and circuses. Dependent upon government for their very livelihood a large portion, perhaps a majority of the electorate, eagerly embrace the thinking needed to justify robbing their fellow citizens through transfer payments to subsidize their lifestyle. Society becomes rigid and any deviance from the proscribed way of thinking is ostracized. Any attempt to break free of the stranglehold of political correctness on the thoughts and opinions of a once free people must be punished. The best that we can hope is that since we have gone step by step and inch by inch eventually, slowly we will turn.
In George Orwell’s classic 1984 it was the thought police that monitored and directed the thoughts of an entire nation. On a smaller scale the sadistic captain of the chain-gang in Cool Hand Luke phrased it this way when referring to people who tried to break out of the system, “You run one time, you got yourself a set of chains. You run twice you got yourself two sets. You ain’t gonna need no third set, ’cause you gonna get your mind right.”
Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion. He is the Historian of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com © 2013 Robert R. Owens email@example.com Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook or Twitter @ Drrobertowens / Edited by Dr. Rosalie Owens
Political Action Follows Political Philosophy November 8, 2013Posted by Dr. Robert Owens in Politics.
Tags: Dr. Robert Owens, economic security, political action, Political philosophy, social engineering, social welfare, socialism, socialist agenda
The vast majority of human action reflects the thoughts, beliefs, and feelings of the actor. There have always been and there will always be those whose actions are erratic or divorced from reality. The actions of this small minority are best ascribed to pathology not philosophy. For the rest of us we think therefore we are. What we think about today we act upon tomorrow.
In the realm of political action this holds true. The philosophies propagated today may not bear fruit or even appear to germinate during the lifetime of those who share them. However, if they resonate with the thoughts, beliefs and natures of others they will bring forth a harvest in due time.
The time and effort involved in producing a coherent and logical body of work in the field of political philosophy may feel like a fool’s errand or wasted effort to the author working away often without recognition and in seclusion, never seeing the validity of their thoughts acknowledged by their peers or their intended audience. However, anyone involved in such an effort needs to have a long view and the fortitude to plant so that others may harvest.
Having prefaced my thoughts and illuminated my actions let me plant some seeds.
For my entire life I have had Progressive instructors, politicians, friends and relatives admonish me that the reason for subverting the greatest experiment in human personal liberty, individual freedom and economic opportunity in the History of humanity is that we need to provide for the less fortunate. They often refer to providing some type of economic security for those who cannot provide for themselves. They often mean the leveling of society so that there is a minimum level of economic security.
The problem with “economic security” is that the term is so vague how do we know when it has been achieved? Much like a war on terror it is open ended and can be interpreted in many ways. What is considered economic security to one may not be to another.
If by economic security we mean security with regard to physical needs and a minimum amount of food that is one thing. If by economic security we mean the guarantee of a certain standard of living or a pre-assigned social status we are speaking of something else altogether.
It seems clear that any society which has achieved the levels of sophistication and civilization that we have should be able to provide for the basic needs of our citizens who cannot take care of themselves without endangering the freedom of all. There will be debates as to the levels of help which should be provided; however as to the belief that we should not allow our fellow citizens to starve or freeze I believe we are all agreed.
These questions will undoubtedly cause political debate and they may even cause tempers to flare; however that there is some minimum standard all will agree. These minimum standards of economic security can be provided to those who cannot provide for themselves without endangering the wider economy and without unduly infringing upon the liberty of the productive members of society.
However, any attempt to guarantee the pre-assigned social status of anyone, or any group, the attempt to provide for those who can provide for themselves and choose not to do so will inevitably cause so many dislocations in the economy and require so many regulations both personal freedom and economic opportunity will be severely restricted.
This is where the debate heats up. We have those who believe our society can and should protect and provide for those who cannot protect and provide for themselves and those who wish to use social welfare for social engineering.
The levels of taxation and regulation needed to support the minimalist approach can easily be borne by our society and our economy without compromising our freedom if they are applied evenly and fairly. A flat tax without loopholes, subsidies or any of the other trappings of crony capitalism does nothing to inhibit innovation, enterprise, or competition. Regulations requiring the equal treatment of individuals or the setting of safety or access levels likewise do not detract from opportunity as long as they are universally applied.
However, to attain the maximized levels of central-planning required to impose a Utopian vision of equality of outcome on any society require so many regulations and such high levels of taxation that they effectively strangle innovation, enterprise and competition. Why couldn’t that gigantic prison house of nations, the USSR, compete with the United States?
Because they professed to seek a society wherein everyone was equal at all times. Did they accomplish it? No. The ruling Communists simply replaced the ruling hereditary aristocracy. They killed millions to improve life. They destroyed the incentive and creativity of their people in an effort to produce a more productive economy by fiat instead of freedom. They eventually made working for the collective so meaningless that a common saying was, “They pretend to pay us so we pretend to work.” Citizens ended up with worthless money, empty stores and services such as health care that only worked for the privileged government workers. In any society that robs Peter to pay Paul eventually everyone changes their name to Paul.
As dire as the results have always been for Utopian experiments it is the morality of attempting to level society that needs to be questioned. I contend that competition is a fundamental quality of humanity. Striving to improve, to provide for one’s self and one’s family are basic instincts, and when governments interfere with these in an effort to ensure the success of some they have to limit the success of others.
This has a butterfly effect where a regulation for a positive action here about that affects something else over there about this negatively. Multiply this many thousands of time and we have a cascading effect that restricts opportunity except for those who direct the effort to achieve the equality of all. Or as the last remaining commandment at the animal farm eventually said, “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.”
No one is as smart as everyone. No set of central planners seeking the improvement of some can substitute their decisions for the millions of decisions made by free individuals seeking their own improvement. It just won’t work. It never has and it never will. Therefore I contend that if it is inherently detrimental to society as a whole and since it is impossible to achieve it is immoral to attempt.
Man was created with free choice. This is our fundamental nature. Therefore what goes against that nature is contrary to the truth of who man is or is meant to be.
That the darker side needs to be restrained is generally agreed. Every society condemns murder. Even thieves have a code; at home they know theft is wrong. Children should be protected and provided for as should those who cannot protect or provide for themselves. No people has prospered or advanced by leaving their poor to starve or their sick to die.
Likewise no people have ever successfully built a society on the pipedream of equality of outcome. All that has ever produced is the fever dream of a socially engineered stagnant society where the government picks winners and everyone except the choosers and the chosen few end up losers.
The idea that man is meant to be free birthed this country. No matter how far we fall beneath the Progressive avalanche of regulation, taxation, and corruption this idea will one day once again take flight. As long as there are those who will propagate the philosophy the action will one day follow. Just as sure as a sunrise always follows the darkest night someday a free America will rise from the ash heap of History to which socialism inevitably leads.
Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion. He is the Historian of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com © 2013 Robert R. Owens firstname.lastname@example.org Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook or Twitter @ Drrobertowens / Edited by Dr. Rosalie Owens
The Uncivil War November 1, 2013Posted by Dr. Robert Owens in Politics.
Tags: civil war, Dr. Robert Owens, Lincoln, Lord Acton, Political Correctness, ratification of the constitution, resumption clauses constitution, State’s Rights
In American schools the Civil War is a one trick pony. It was all about slavery and that is all it was about.
There can be no doubt that slavery was a blight upon the History of the United States. It was incompatible with the inspiring words of our Declaration of Independence, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
The very idea of chattel slavery wherein one person can own another and their children, and their children’s children unto the furthest generation is an abomination. The South saw this as their peculiar institution, and they had built an entire culture upon slavery as an economic necessity. For a variety of reasons even the Southern Churches supported and attempted to justify the practice. However, all of this being said slavery was not the only issue at stake in the Civil War.
There was one other that took center stage in the minds of many: State’s Rights.
In the decades that had passed since the ratification of the Constitution slavery had been steadily abolished in the Northern states while remaining prevalent in the South. This inexorably led to the issue of slavery becoming intertwined in the issues of States Rights, Federalism and the growing power of the Federal Government.
The proponents of States rights appealed to the 10th Amendment which states, “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” This had been added to the original Constitution due to the intellectual and political pressure from the Anti-Federalists. This Amendment was meant to reassure people of the limited nature of the Federal government and that with the few exception specifically delegated to the Federal Government by the States the States and the people were free to continue exercising their sovereign powers.
President Lincoln did not see the Civil War as a war to end slavery until that became necessary to stop European powers from recognizing the South.
Lincoln said in his 1st Inaugural Address, “I have no purpose, directly or indirectly, to interfere with the institution of slavery in the States where it exists. I believe I have no lawful right to do so, and I have no inclination to do so.”
Lincoln was on record as saying, “”My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and is not either to save or to destroy slavery. If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone I would also do that. What I do about slavery, and the colored race, I do because I believe it helps to save the Union; and what I forbear, I forbear because I do not believe it would help to save the Union. I shall do less whenever I shall believe what I am doing hurts the cause, and I shall do more whenever I shall believe doing more will help the cause.”
Lincoln also said, “Do the people of the South really entertain fears that a Republican administration would, directly, or indirectly, interfere with their slaves, or with them, about their slaves? If they do, I wish to assure you, as once a friend, and still, I hope, not an enemy, that there is no cause for such fears.” Obviously his object was to maintain the Union at all costs and ending slavery (or not) was to him merely a means to that end.
That Lincoln himself was on record as believing that the invasion of the States was unlawful is shown by another quote from his 1st Inaugural Address, “That the maintenance inviolate of the rights of the States, and especially the right of each State to order and control its own domestic institutions according to its own judgment exclusively, is essential to that balance of power on which the perfection and endurance of our political fabric depend; and we denounce the lawless invasion by armed force of the soil of any State or Territory, no matter what pretext, as among the gravest of crimes.” Yet in this same address he proclaims his belief that the Union is perpetual and the he has sworn an oath to preserve it.
However there were very basic and foundational problems with the entire effort to preserve the Union. For one thing it was known by all that it was a voluntary union entered into by sovereign States. It was also known that the Federal Government only has those powers which are expressly delegated. Nowhere in the document does it say the Federal Government has the power to force States to remain in the Union.
In addition, three states—New York, Rhode Island, and Virginia included “resumption clauses,” which would allow the states to leave the union to “resume” their status as independent states.
New York declared, “That the Powers of Government may be reassumed by the People, whensoever it shall become necessary to their Happiness.”
Rhode Island said, “That the powers of government may be reassumed by the people whensoever it shall become necessary to their happiness.”
Virginia stated, “Do in the name and in behalf of the People of Virginia declare and make known that the powers granted under the Constitution being derived from the People of the United States may be resumed by them whensoever the same shall be perverted to their injury or oppression.”
Everyone loves to quote Lord Acton when he says things like, “Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” Or, “Liberty is not a means to a higher political end. It is itself the highest political end.”
Most are not aware of the correspondence that took place between Lord Acton and Robert E. Lee after the Civil War. In that correspondence Lord Acton said, “I saw in State Rights the only availing check upon the absolutism of the sovereign will, and secession filled me with hope, not as the destruction but as the redemption of Democracy. The institutions of your Republic have not exercised on the old world the salutary and liberating influence which ought to have belonged to them, by reason of those defects and abuses of principle which the Confederate Constitution was expressly and wisely calculated to remedy. I believed that the example of that great Reform would have blessed all the races of mankind by establishing true freedom purged of the native dangers and disorders of Republics. Therefore I deemed that you were fighting the battles of our liberty, our progress, and our civilization; and I mourn for the stake which was lost at Richmond more deeply than I rejoice over that which was saved at Waterloo.”
To which Lee answered, “I yet believe that the maintenance of the rights and authority reserved to the states and to the people, not only essential to the adjustment and balance of the general system, but the safeguard to the continuance of a free government. I consider it as the chief source of stability to our political system, whereas the consolidation of the states into one vast republic, sure to be aggressive abroad and despotic at home, will be the certain precursor of that ruin which has overwhelmed all those that have preceded it.”
I know that States Rights has been tarred with the broad brush of racism; however, I reject that attempt to restrict the speech of a free people along with all of the strangulating impediments of political correctness.
America was designed to be a federal republic which operates on democratic principles. The continuing attempts to curtail the freedom of actions of the States and to transform the United States into a centrally-planned democracy run counter to our founding documents, our History, and, our nature.
Here’s another Lord Acton quote people seem to overlook, “Socialism means slavery.”
When the Have Nots Become the Haves October 25, 2013Posted by Dr. Robert Owens in Politics.
Tags: Dr. Robert Owens, nationalized healthcare, Obama agenda, Obamacare, Progressive agenda, Rules for Radicals, Saul Alinsky, single payer, socialist, socialist agenda
Saul Alinsky the political thinker who seems to have had more impact on President Obama than any other was very clear in his most important book about what his motives were and what he was aiming at, “What follows is for those who want to change the world from what it is to what they believe it should be. ‘The Prince’ was written by Machiavelli for the Haves on how to hold power. ‘Rules for Radicals’ is written for the Have-Nots on how to take it away.”
With the November Revolution of 2008 which gave us one party rule for two years the Progressive Democrat party saw their chance and they took it. Within the two years it took for the people to realize they needed some balance the Progressives passed Obamacare which effectively gives government control of 1/6 of the economy. They passed Dodd-Frank which gives them extensive control over the financial sector. When they couldn’t push Cap-N-Trade even through a rubber-stamp Congress the President imposed it by executive order. When they likewise failed to muster enough of their own hacks to pass the Dream Act once again it was imposed by fiat.
The anti-capitalist programs of the Progressive Bush Administration’s final days were continued and amplified by the Obama Administration. TARP was followed by the Stimulus. The takeover of AIG was joined by the take-over of the auto industry and by force feeding money into the economy for years of quantitative easing as the casino we call the stock market soars.
Unemployment reporting has become totally unhinged from reality as the real rate stays at levels which would easily shine the light of truth on the fiction of a recovery.
According to the government’s own Bureau of Labor Statistics the real unemployment rate (U-6) has been continuously above 13 % for the last year. This information is readily available (one click of the mouse) and yet the media (including Fox) have told us day-by-day that it is falling and is now down to 7.2. This typifies the manufactured reality the federal government and the Corporations Once Known as the Mainstream Media shovel into the public trough. If the plagiarized opinions I hear my fellow citizens share everyday are any indication the average person accepts the fiction as reality.
New research from the Republicans on the Senate Budget Committee shows that over the last five years, the U.S. has spent about $3.7 trillion on welfare.
“We have just concluded the 5th fiscal year since President Obama took office. During those five years, the federal government has spent a total $3.7 trillion on approximately 80 different means-tested poverty and welfare programs. The common feature of means-tested assistance programs is that they are graduated based on a person’s income and, in contrast to programs like Social Security or Medicare, they are a free benefit and not paid into by the recipient,” says the minority side of the Senate Budget Committee.
The minority side also states that, “The enormous sum spent on means-tested assistance is nearly five times greater than the combined amount spent on NASA, education, and all federal transportation projects over that time.” And the staggering sum of $3.7 trillion is not even the entire amount spent on federal poverty support, as states contribute more than $200 billion each year primarily in the form of free low-income health care.
The goal has always been to get enough people receiving benefits to out-vote the ones paying for the benefits. In the fourth quarter of 2011, (the last full year for which statistics are available) 49.2 percent of Americans received benefits from one or more government programs, according to data released Tuesday by the Census Bureau.
In total, the Census Bureau estimated, 151,014,000 Americans out of a population then estimated to be 306,804,000 received benefits from one or more government programs during the last three months of 2011. Those 151,014,000 beneficiaries equaled 49.2 percent of the population.
This included 82,457,000 people–or 26.9 percent of the population–who lived in households in which one or more people received Medicaid benefits.
At the same time a large number of Americans no longer pay any federal taxes. Even the Progressive Huffington Post states, “Some 76 million tax filers, or 46.4 percent of the total, will be exempt from federal income tax in 2011.” (Using the same year as a way of fair comparison)
Just imagine an undisciplined out-of-control shopaholic whose credit limit has just been extended. Now they can continue overspending without any accountability. That shopaholic is the U.S. government.
In the week since Congress reached a temporary deal to suspend the U.S. government’s debt ceiling the Treasury department has added another $375 billion in new debt.
The suspension of a cap on U.S. debt, which was previously fixed at $16.69 trillion, means the Treasury department can spend whatever amount of money it wants.
How much money will the U.S. government put on our grandchildren’s credit card by the next debt ceiling deadline? At the current rate of deficit spending which is $375 billion per week, U.S. public debt will reach $22.70 trillion by Feb. 7, 2014.
All these transfer payments impoverish the working middle class who pay the biggest share of their income in taxes and empower those who receive the benefits, often being the same ones who pay no taxes. Thus the have nots become the haves fulfilling the goal of the Alinsky inspired community organizing program which has become Americas master plan.
As the have nots rise to become the haves and the haves descend to become the have nots the cycle repeats itself in an endless spiral of social warfare and the only ones who really benefit are those whose goal is power irrespective of who has what.
This is why the President and his advisors seem so oblivious to the turmoil and destruction the implementation of their plans cause. The goal of the President and of the other Progressive leaders has always been universal single payer insurance no matter what they had to say to sell it. Obamacare was always seen as a half-step in the direction of total government control. So what do a few speed bumps along the way matter when the goal is to totally transform America?
Our current administration seems to have no respect for the law.
The Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) forbids the federal government from enforcing the law in any state that opted out of setting up its own health care exchange.
The Obama administration has ignored that part in the law, enforcing all of its provisions even in states where the federal government is operating the insurance marketplaces on the error-plagued Healthcare.gov website.
Thirty-six states chose not to set up their exchanges, a move that effectively froze Washington, D.C. out of the authority to pay subsidies and other pot-sweeteners to convince citizens in those states to buy medical insurance. However, the IRS overstepped its authority promising to pay subsidies in those states anyway.
The imperious leaders of the have nots now have the government, and tradition, laws, and history all take a back seat to the alliance of Progressives who want to have it all.
Liberty Tyranny and the Rule of Law October 17, 2013Posted by Dr. Robert Owens in Politics.
Tags: Dr. Robert Owens, government shutdown, Obamacare, Planned economy, Progressive agenda, socialist economy
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A foundational difference between a country that enjoys the benefits of limited government, individual liberty, personal freedom and economic opportunity, and one that suffers under the yoke of tyranny is that the former observes the rule of law and the latter witnesses the rule of whim.
John Locke the intellectual font from which our founders drank long and deep said, “The end of law is not to abolish or restrain, but to preserve and enlarge freedom. For in all the states of created beings capable of law, where there is no law, there is no freedom.”
Many people who see themselves as defenders of the common man give their support to people and programs that restrict liberty and relegate most citizens to the role of pawns in the puzzle factory of central planning. These low information voters and starry eyed fellow-travelers either wake up for elections voting for the party their parents did or they believe the demagogues who sell them some version of Utopia. The former are just taking a commercial break between reality shows while the latter honestly believe that one more program will actually usher in heaven on earth and there will be a computer on every desk, a cell phone in very hand and all will be right with the world, Kum ba yah, my lord, Kum ba yah.
The problem with the low information voters is that they really don’t care enough to find out what is happening and they believe whatever the Corporations Once Known as the Mainstream Media tell them. You can’t do much in the face of militant apathy. The inertia outweighs the momentum. All we can do is wait for reality to shout loud enough to wake them up.
The starry eyed fellow-travelers however might be reachable with a reasonable discussion. They are after all seeking after a better world. However, they have swallowed everything the progressive educational system has been swilling out for the last few generations. Less is more: man-made global warming, it takes a village; America is to blame for the troubles of the world, capitalism, bad socialism, good, etc.
In this essay I wish to address these fellow citizens and hope to convince them that when they sign on to the various progressive plans for central-planning whether it is for health care or of the whole economy it inevitably leads to violation of the rule of law, a breakdown of the social contract and the loss of liberty.
When attempting to plan an entire economy or even of a large part, as the 1/6 that represents health care, it is impossible for any piece of legislation to specify every detail for every circumstance. Therefore the laws when passed though they may be thousands of pages long will be large guidelines empowering agencies and bureaucrats to write the specifics with the force of law. Thus the representatives of the people actually delegate their power to unelected individuals who can make law with the wave of a pen. The form of a representative government operating according to democratic principles is maintained while in reality we have rule by decree and an autocratic regime.
James Madison, the Father of the Constitution and our fourth president told us, “It will be of little avail to the people that the laws are made by men of their own choice if the laws be so voluminous that they cannot be read, or so incoherent that they cannot be understood.”
In these attempts to control and plan entire economies or of large segments of economies those who direct those economies must choose between outcomes. One outcome advances the plan and one does not. Obviously since the plan is the plan whatever obstructs its accomplishment is less desirable than what moves it towards its goal. Therefore the planners must encourage one thing and discourage another. This all comes down to limiting choices and picking winners and losers.
Coal is bad because it slows the progress towards a zero carbon footprint and according to the pet pseudo-science of the day contributes to the global warming that in reality is cyclical and ended more than a decade ago. Therefore coal production and use must be discouraged.
Solar power is good because it is renewable and once you are past the production of the solar panels it causes no pollution. Therefore solar panel production must be encouraged even when it is an inefficient power source. Even after billions of dollars have been poured into boondoggles which profited no one except campaign contributors and other progressive stake-holders good money must follow bad for the plan must go on.
This choosing of winners and losers according to a predetermined plan by unelected members of the nomenclature restricts the liberty of people to work and prosper as they will while rewarding others who make poor investments and some who even go bankrupt leaving the tax payers to clean up the mess.
This is the opposite of the rule of law. Laws to be fair have to apply to everyone. When a nation lives under the rule of law the government does not deny individuals of opportunities or rights. Whenever a government launches out on the road to Utopia it is necessary that it micromanage the economy making specific decisions relating to the actual needs of people with regard to the plan. They must slow some down and speed some up if they want everyone to arrive at the desired location at the desired time.
When law ceases to be generally applied and instead arbitrarily chooses between what one can do and what another may not do, and these choices are different, then the law is no longer creating a level playing field it is building a maze.
Give Them an Inch October 11, 2013Posted by Dr. Robert Owens in Politics.
Tags: Dr. Owens, government shutdown, healthcare waivers, Impeach Obama, Obamacare, Progressive agenda, socialist agenda
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Let’s see the government had three years and the entire resources of the federal government and they can’t build a website that works. Now we have a website that won’t let you leave, is open to hackers, presents people with insurance they can’t afford and we are going to fine, excuse me, tax anyone without insurance who doesn’t use it. These people are making the DMV look efficient.
Many of their own supporters and allies tried to warn them the website was not ready. The administration which estimated the cost spent to be 93 million for development of the website and ended up paying $634,320,919, which is more than it cost to develop Facebook, Twitter, or Linkedin, released it knowing it wasn’t ready. Those who have ventured to apply or to investigate report that on average 1 in 10 are able to navigate through the maze to the find the cheese of higher rates.
Maybe that’s because a website tasked with servicing millions was designed to accommodate 50,000? Maybe it’s because it appears as if no one bothered to test it before launch? Maybe it’s because instead of using the most up-to-date technology and the latest computer code the government bought some extremely high priced outdated, costly and buggy technology?
Or perhaps it all merely proves the truth of what Ronald Reagan told us many years ago, “The nine most terrifying words in the English language are: I’m from the government and I’m here to help.”
The Democrats and their media allies tell us daily that Obamacare is the law of the land and we have no choice but to fund it, obey it, and carry it on our backs till the end of time. They say that Congress passed it, the president signed it, the last election ratified it, the Supreme Court upheld it, and that is that.
Congress did pass it without one Republican vote. This is the first and only entitlement that was passed without even a fig leaf of bipartisan support.
Of course the president signed this Holy Grail the Progressives have been seeking for more than a century, because they know that taking control of the healthcare system, 1/6 of the economy, and taking control of everyone’s health will give them easy access to total control. Or as Lenin said, “Socialized Medicine is the Keystone to the Arch of the Socialist State.”
The last election did return President Obama to the White House for a second term; however, it also returned a Republican majority to the House of Representatives. The Constitution designed the House as the branch of government closest to the people, and this House is listening to the people.
And yes, the Supreme Court did uphold it. How? By calling what the Congress that passed the bill adamantly said was not a tax is a tax. This was an example of philosophical gymnastics that found the argument originally used to pass the bill unconstitutional but found the law constitutional as long as it is what they told us it wasn’t.
All of which brings us to the question, “How can Obamacare be settled law when the president can change it anytime in any way he wants?” There was no provision in the law as passed for all the waivers and exceptions our imperial president makes with the wave of his pen. If it is settled law, how and why can the president change it without Congressional approval?
Is it now illegal or immoral to work to change “settled” law? Does this mean that it is wrong for people who believe abortion is murder to work to change the law. Oh wait a moment the law still says abortion is murder it is only a Supreme Court ruling that holds the laws of the states in check. Does this mean it is now wrong to protest the never ending wars that are impoverishing our nation without contributing to our security?
The First Amendment to the Constitution guarantees the right of the people to peaceably assemble and to petition the government for a redress of grievances. Article 1, Section 7 of the Constitution says, “All Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives.” The vote to withhold funding for an unpopular law is not only proper and not only voicing the will of the people, but it is also constitutional.
How can it be constitutional for a president to change a law whenever he wants to do so? Should we just add this to the list of unconstitutional acts the present administration has perpetrated since gaining power? How long can a nation stand idly by while a rogue administration grabs power and control? How long will a timid and overawed opposition refrain from raising the cry, “Impeachment!” when faced with the illegal actions of a naked Progressive coup?
Just because something is legal does not mean it is right. Hitler gained power legally. He assumed totalitarian power legally. He built concentration camps legally. He waged war and killed millions legally. So did Stalin. Just because something is legal does not mean it is right. How long America? How long? Have we been giving these Progressive camels inches for so long we don’t even notice they have already taken the whole mile?
Why Central-Planning Won’t Work October 3, 2013Posted by Dr. Robert Owens in Politics.
Tags: Capitalism, central-planning, collectivism, Democrat agenda, Dr. Robert Owens, Obama’s agenda, Progressive agenda, socialism
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Failure to plan is planning to fail. This truism has been a guiding light in my life and in the lives of countless others. Without planning we would never accomplish much in life. The haphazard serendipity of chance rarely adds up to a consistently positive result. We all know people who seem like they can fall into a sewer and come up smelling like roses. Most of us come up smelling like something quite different if we take the same fall.
On an individual basis planning is absolutely critical. For society some things also need planning such as coining money, defending the nation, and delivering the mail. All of these require planning and for all of these things it is possible to plan realistically and effectively.
There is no argument between the citizen supporters of constitutionally limited government and our perpetually re-elected Progressive collectivists and the fellow-travelers who support them about this. Some planning is both necessary and good. However, this is where we part company. Those who believe in a constitutionally limited government do not believe that it is possible or advisable to try to run an economy and a society through central planning.
The very attempt to use central planning short circuits the myriad of personal decisions which make up the routine functions of a free economy and that is the bedrock of a free society. Every group that advocates central planning, no matter what they call themselves are Utopians who believe that they can do a better job making decisions for everyone than everyone can make for themselves. That is the essence of the Nanny-state: government knows better and must protect us from our own bad choices.
There is one common feature that is clearly a part of all the various collectivist systems no matter what they call themselves. They all call for the deliberate organization of society to accomplish identifiable social goals. That a free society lacks this focus and its activities are guided by the personal whims and feelings of individuals all seeking their own good is always the complaint of the Utopians.
This brings the basic difference between the collectivists and the advocates of personal liberty into stark relief. The different types of collectivists: Socialists, Communists, Fascists, and Progressives may differ as to the specific societal goals towards which they want to drive their populations, and they may differ in their methods depending upon the amount of control they exert over the choices of others. However much they differ from each other they all uniformly differ from the advocates of individual freedom in that they wish to regiment all of society and all its resources to achieve whichever set of goals their particular brand of collectivism sees as the pathway to Nirvana.
Whatever the social goal is whether it’s called the great leap forward, a worker’s paradise, a classless society, the common good, the general welfare, or the Great Society it doesn’t take much reflection to see that these terms are so vague it’s impossible to determine their exact meaning so that any specific course of action could be decided upon. It’s like a war on terror, or drugs, or obesity how are you supposed to know when the goal has been reached or victory achieved?
The welfare and happiness of people cannot be measured on a scale of more or less. There are too many variables. There are too many possible combinations of circumstances that can become either negatives or positives depending upon another set of widely diverse situations. The “good” of any society cannot be expressed as simply or succinctly as the collectivists pretend. It is just too complex.
To direct all of society’s energy and resource by one plan assumes that every need and desire is given a rank in order of importance and a place in order of time. It also assumes that an absolute lineal order of occurrences must proceed from every action. If this happens that will automatically occur. Besides asserting through action that it is possible to order all things as one desires it also inherently expresses the idea that there is one universal set of ethics by which good and bad are obviously seen by the planners. All of these assumptions, assertions and expressions are not only false they are obviously false. No one is as smart as everyone.
The very idea of having a universally accepted and complete code of ethics is beyond the scope of human experience. People are constantly choosing between different values as they go through their daily life. What is best today in this situation may not be best tomorrow in that situation. However, when all of society and all of its resources are to be harnessed and driven in one direction toward a preselected set of goals such a universal and complete set of ethics are not only a necessity they are a prerequisite for success. Since this is unattainable success is also unattainable. If this sounds harsh please view the tattered hulks and broken lives which litter the history of all Utopian collectivist societies.
Only God can plan the end from the beginning. Only God has an ultimate and a true ethical code that is universally applicable to all people in all situations. Only God has a right to order events to suit His purposes. He created all things, and all things exist because He holds them up. All things are His, and He has the ability and the right to do with them as He pleases.
The problem we face is that collectivism puts the state in the place of God. Collectivists believe that government, through its bureaucracy, can make decisions and take action that could only work if designed and carried out with the aid of omniscience and omnipotence neither of which qualities have ever or will ever belong to government.
A scientist once said to God, “You’re not so much. We have learned how to make life in our laboratories.”
God answered, “Is that so.”
The scientist proudly said, “Yes it is and I am willing to have a contest with you right now to see who can make life faster and better.”
“All right,” God said, “let’s go.” With that God stooped down and picked up some dirt and started molding it into a man as the scientist grabbed his test tubes and started pouring liquids from one to another.
Just as God was about to blow the breath of life into His creation, he looked at the scientist and said, “Hey! Get your own dirt.”
There is one thing I have learned in this life: God is God and I am not and neither is anyone or anything else. Sounds like a pretty basic lesson; however, it took me about half of my life to learn. If we could only get those entrusted with our government to learn the same thing maybe we would stop our slow slide into that long dark night.
The Question is, “What’s the Answer?” September 26, 2013Posted by Dr. Robert Owens in Politics.
Tags: Capitalism, collectivism, Competition, Dr. Robert Owens, fundamentally transform America, Obama’s agenda, Progressives, Progressivism, quantitative easing, socialism
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In politics and economics as in everything in life there always seems to be more questions than answers.
Some answers previously shared:
Politically speaking, I have said before in these columns that I no longer consider myself to be a conservative because there is nothing left to conserve. Instead I consider myself a Liberal in the classical sense: in the tradition of Jefferson and Paine a believer in human liberty. The once proud name of Liberal has been coopted and fundamentally transformed by the Socialists who have followed the advice of one of their early leaders, Norman Thomas, “The American people will never knowingly adopt Socialism. But under the name of ‘liberalism’ they will adopt every fragment of the Socialist program, until one day America will be a Socialist nation, without knowing how it happened.”
I say it is time to reclaim the name.
In the economic realm, I am unabashedly a believer in capitalism. The reason for this is that it is the only system ever devised by man that requires freedom as a foundation for it to exist. Every other economic system ever tried is a centrally-planned command system. The king, the dictator, or the politburo decides how many widgets the country needs and that is how many widgets the country gets and everyone works at the widget factory.
As a child of the Cold War who had Marx shoved down his throat by Socialist teachers from grade school through college, I rebelled when one of my History professors told me that economics was the lynchpin of History. It wasn’t until after the fall of the Evil Empire that I was able to appreciate this truth. It is interesting to note that before we adopted the German style of College education in the 1890s Economics, History and Political Science were all one discipline. How can we understand any one of them without the others? One legged stools do not stand very well. Information in a vacuum is still a vacuum.
So what is the question?
How can America continue to exist politically as a Republic with a constitutionally limited government dedicated to personal liberty, economic freedom and individual opportunity if our central government destroys competition?
The support of competition does not make someone an anarchist as Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid accuses.
The use of competition as an organizing mechanism in society precludes the use of certain types of coercive regulations. However, it does not preclude the use regulations or guidelines. There are important reasons why the negative aspects of this statement have been stressed by the advocates of competition while the positive have been neglected by its opponents.
It is necessary that all parties in the market place must be free to buy and sell at any price which they can agree on. It is also necessary that everyone should be free to produce, sell and buy anything that can be produced or sold. It is also necessary that everyone has equal and free access into the trades.
Any attempt to control or regulate prices or quantities of commodities deprives competition of its ability to bring about the effective coordination of individual efforts because price changes then are no longer able to correctly act as a reliable guide for an individual’s actions.
This is not an iron-clad rule. As long as any restrictions placed on all potential producers affect all producers the same and are not used as an indirect method for controlling prices and quantities. All such restrictions impose extra costs however if they are imposed evenly competition can survive if not thrive. For example, it is generally agreed that regulations to control the use of poisonous substances, to limit working hours, or to require sanitary conditions are both desirable and necessary.
The only question here is: are the social advantages gained by these regulations greater than the economic costs they impose. Neither is the existence of social services incompatible with freedom as long as their organization and operation is not designed to restrict competition.
Thus it is shown that the advocates of competition and economic freedom are not anarchists demanding a Laissez-faire anything goes free-for-all. They admit the need for safety and agree that as long as things are equal things are fair.
The fairness of competition is shown in one of its primary foundational principles: that the owner of private property benefits from all the useful services rendered and is liable for all the damages caused to others by its use. When it becomes impossible to make the enjoyment of certain services dependent on payment or if the damages from its use are deflected then completion is ineffective as a social organizer because the price system has been disrupted.
Thus both restrictions on the use of property and bailouts which transfer the cost of failure from those who made the bad decisions to the taxpayers cause the market to become unhinged from reality and the creature of government direction. We see licenses, permits, and other regulations control who can engage in what economic activity. Look at the stock market. Does it rise or fall because of innovation? Do the efforts of people to create and market new products lead the DOW to new heights? No. The market rises and falls on whether or not the Fed is going to continue pumping fiat money into the system.
The rules of the game have been so distorted by the government that honest and open competition is almost impossible. This is why the underground economy flourishes, because it the only place where free competition still exists. And people will always yearn to be free. No matter how governments try to chain their citizens down with webs of regulations and nets of laws Gulliver will always struggle and strain against the ties that bind until he breaks free.
It is obvious to all that President Obama has succeeded in his goal of fundamentally transforming America. For example, his massive stimulus that paid off campaign debts to unions and donors and his mountains of new regulations on everything from banking to coal to student loans. There is the never-ending FED pump which just keeps pouring more money into an already bloated bubble in an effort to make a socialized crippled economy at least look like it works. And of course there is Obamacare which effectively socializes 1/6 of the entire economy. The combination of these policies breaks the back of competition and sound the death knell of the great experiment in freedom begun in 1776. Drip by drip, inch by inch we have been moved closer to the goal. Now it is the Health Care take-over and the flood of fiat currency that are leading to a terminal case of bankruptcy, a systems collapse, and as our Progressive leaders hope the dawn of a new day.
When the invisible hand has been tied and competition weighted in favor of government chosen winners and losers, when the electoral game has been stacked in favor of a two headed Progressive Republicrat party of unlimited power, pride and ambition, when equal justice under the law applies only to citizens and not to officials, the Question is, “What’s the Answer.”
That answer might be, “How long?”
How long before we the American people demand that our nation founded in revolution against tyranny reject the empire and restore the Republic? We can all see that the emperor has no clothes. We all know the deck has been stacked, the game rigged, and the winners chosen. How long before we demand that we are allowed to live in a nation where we will be judged by the content of our character and not by our membership in a protected or favored group, our political contributions or whether or not we have saluted the party line?
As we watch our beloved nation transformed it might be well to remember what our second President John Adams once said, “a Constitution of Government once changed from Freedom, can never be restored. Liberty, once lost, is lost forever.” Then again he also said, “Remember democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide.”
A Word to the Wise September 19, 2013Posted by Dr. Robert Owens in Politics.
Tags: Dr. Robert Owens, equality of opportunity, Equality of result, liberal media, Mainstream Media, media bias, Obama’s agenda, Progressive agenda, socialism, socialist agenda
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The most insidious result that central-planning and the overabundance of government control that it requires is not the maladjustments that it inevitably creates in the economy. It is not the crony capitalism and bureaucratic nepotism that it always fosters. It is not the smothering blanket of nanny-state regulations that strangle creativity. It is not even the tendency to one-party rule even when camouflaged behind a two party system that is in reality two heads of the same bird of prey. It is not a system which may actually contain only two parties if you believe there is the government party and the country party.
No none of these missteps on the way to an illusionary utopia are the most insidious result of any system no matter what it is called that is some variation on the socialist theme of “From each according to their ability and to each according to their need.” Instead the most insidious result of the effort by some to control all is a change in the character of the people.
When government regulation becomes an all-embracing web of minutia that requires lawyers, accountants, and other translators of government-speak to comprehend, when safety-nets become hammocks, and when the do-gooders believe that they know what is best for everyone reaches a tipping point people begin to expect others to do for them what they used to do for themselves. A nation of self-reliant, go-getters can be changed into a sea of slugs on the dole constantly crying and voting for more.
The descendants of the pilgrims and the pioneers are content to wait for their government check and their food stamps as long as there is a game on their flat screen and minutes left on their obamaphone. Militant apathy has ossified the sinews of a once great people. So many people don’t care about anything beyond their creature comforts, the most basic of which are guaranteed, that the will to succeed has been squashed.
When you guarantee success and everyone gets a trophy just for showing up few will strive to do more than is required. When success is punished by the ridicule of the media and the inequality of government policies such as a progressive income tax that says, “The more you make the more we take” few will strive to do more than is required. When college entrance quotas and set-asides say, “We don’t seek the best and the brightest we look at race and gender to pick the winners and losers” few will strive to do more than is required. When government subsidies and tax-breaks say, “If you have connections the government will hold back the crushing reality of the market at tax-payers’ expense” few will strive to do more than is required.
In America today we are surrounded by low-information voters who either don’t pay any attention to affairs beyond their life or who get their news exclusively from the Progressive controlled Corporations Once Known as the Mainstream Media. Their opinions are scripted for them by the progressive group-think of corporate hacks constantly building a narrative to advance their utopian agenda. If it doesn’t fit it doesn’t print. If they don’t like what you say it will never play. America’s once dynamic free press transformed into a one-sided monologue reciting over and over, “Government knows best.”
Our government controlled and increasingly standardized education system works hard to say as some of my students have; “a ‘D’ is good enough.” Or, “At our school we receive an attendance diploma it just means we were there it don’t mean we learned anything.” Assignments such as I witnessed in a 12th grade Political Science class, “Watch Michael Moore’s film, ‘Fahrenheit 9/11’ and then write an essay on how many ways Bush lied to trick us into invading Iraq” show indoctrination has in many places swallowed education. Circumstances such as these tend to stifle those who would drive innovation and promote those who are just along for the ride, pass the mediocre while holding back the brilliant.
We have moved from a capitalist system to a mixed economy and now under a president who promised to fundamentally transform America we are lurching into a socialist system in all but name that seeks to ensure equality of result instead of the equal opportunity which has traditionally been the seedbed of America’s meritocracy. We have transitioned from a small limited government, a representative republic that operates on democratic principles into an all-powerful central government that operates through a massive bureaucracy. Executive orders are used to make end-runs around Congress and the Constitution. Unconstitutional and illegal recess appointments are used to avoid the scrutiny of a Senate confirmation. Our borders are for all intents and purposes open like an automatic door at Wal-Mart. Forgetting what Ronald Reagan told us, “A nation without borders is not a nation.”
Norman Thomas, an early Socialist candidate for President said, “The American people will never knowingly adopt socialism. But, under the name of ‘liberalism’ they will adopt every fragment of the socialist program, until one day America will be a socialist nation, without knowing how it happened.” And as Lenin said, “Socialized Medicine is the Keystone to the Arch of the Socialist State.”
Step-by-step we have journeyed from being a people birthed in rebellion against tyranny, a people who founded the world’s first experiment in a government of the people, by the people and for the people. Until a nation founded upon a written constitution which guaranteed limited-government, personal liberty, and economic freedom has become just another failed utopia that is spending itself into oblivion as the band plays, “let the good times roll.”
At a time like this it is good to remember some of the wisdom of those who have gone before:
Noah Webster said, “There is no nation on earth powerful enough to accomplish our overthrow. Our destruction, should it come at all, will be from the inattention of the people to the concerns of their government.”
Alexis de Tocqueville said, “The American Republic will endure, until politicians realize they can bribe the people with their own money.”
Benjamin Franklin said, “When the people find that they can vote themselves money that will herald the end of the republic.”
Barry Goldwater said, “A government that is big enough to give you all you want is big enough to take it all away.”
Alexander Tyler said, “A democracy is always temporary in nature; it simply cannot exist as a permanent form of government. A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover that they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates who promise the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that every democracy will finally collapse due to loose fiscal policy, which is always followed by a dictatorship”
A word to the wise they say is sufficient.