By: Dr. Robert R. Owens
People avoid silence because they’re afraid of what they might hear. Although we value our freedom of speech, polite conversation in America is subject to one crushing rule, “Don’t talk about religion or politics!” Most of us were raised with this stifling warning in our ears. The purpose was to avoid arguments at the dinner table but the result is a population unconcerned in the two subjects affecting life the most. I can only talk about the weather for so long which displays the wisdom of memorizing sports stats and watching American Idol. With the two biggest topics off the table we’re faced with either trivial pursuit or silence. Bored with the weather and having neglected my memorization and viewing options I propose a topic to stimulate vigorous conversation without causing any bickering: economics.
Barry, Harry, and Nancy knew they had to take us through-the-looking-glass in four short years. With no effective break on their power for the first two years, Congress moved so fast their yesterday became our tomorrow. That tomorrow is now today. The ruling party rammed their agenda through without one opposition vote. Every revolution needs an emergency to justify radical surgery and the economy is the emergency available. Consequently, these descendants of FDR and LBJ shoved a raw deal down the throat of a great society.
Almost everyone is in agreement that the first stimulus failed. According to MSNBC, “In January, Obama’s economic team predicted unemployment would rise no higher than 8 percent with the help of $787 billion in new government spending.” However, according to the LA Times the unemployment rate in May reached a 25-year high of 9.4 percent. The President may see glimmers of hope but Say-it Ain’t-So Joe said he couldn’t rule out a second stimulus telling us the administration which ran on the slogan, “The worst economy since the Great Depression” misread how bad the economy was. How bad is it? What’s worse than the Great Depression? What’s their answer to this baddest of bad economies? What’s their Plan B? Try Plan A again, and again, and again? I think what our leaders need as they drive the largest economy the world has ever known over the cliff is Economics 102, Macroeconomics or how an economy works.
Most people, including the best-government-money-can-buy, look at the economy as if it were controlled by magic having no idea where the rabbit goes or where the doves come from, and since I doubt I’ll convince any of our all-knowing leaders to enroll in freshman macroeconomics I want to offer a crash course in Economic Reality.
- Government regulations distort markets and inflate bubbles.
- Every generation experiences at least one bubble and at least one bust.
- Every bubble bursts.
- Every burst bubble is followed by a panic.
- Panics inspire economic regulations.
- Economic regulations reflect political ideologies not economic realities.
- Economic regulations always regulate the excesses of the last bubble.
- Economic regulations are always blind to the excesses of the next bubble.
- Since consumption is the purpose for production any economic regulation that ignores this fact always leads to the misapplication of resources and the misdirection of effort.
10. Depressions are recessions with government help.
11. It is impossible to spend yourself into prosperity.
12. It is impossible to tax yourself into prosperity.
13. Higher taxes lead to smaller revenue and black-markets.
The New Economy leads straight to the Second World, from freedom to conformity from capitalism to Obamanomics. Instead of a fair race with the rapidly transforming economies of Asia, America runs hobbled like a child in a three – legged race strapped to the stiff-legged ideas of collectivism.
Why would our leaders want us economically hobbled? What would they gain if we fall into the swamp of poverty engulfing most of the world? Wouldn’t they be right there with us? Go to any Second or Third World country and you’ll see the rich and powerful behind walls in gated-communities where they live in the First World while everyone else sits in the dust eating leaves. In America, we avoided this fate with the growth of a massive middleclass. Under assault with stagnant wages, rising prices, and disappearing jobs the middleclass is being outsourced. How is this being accomplished?
Remember the mantra of the Clintons? “It’s the economy stupid!” That’s still the Liberal’s strategy, riding like a flea on a rat cradle-to-grave social engineering in the guise of economic policy. The Progressives drive the economy into the ditch all the while saying it is someone else’s fault and shrieking that we need more of what is causing the problem: bloated government and runaway spending. A lack of basic economic understanding is destroying the greatest economy ever forged. A zero sum game causes divisions and arguments about who gets what when we used to all strive for the same thing: success.
America is splintering as the melting pot becomes a smelting pot. What is its cause? The divisiveness of class-warfare encouraged by the only people who win through America’s split between red and blue, rich and poor, us and them. Who are they? If it isn’t us I guess it’s them.
Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion for Southside Virginia Community College. He is the author of the History of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com © 2011 Robert R. Owens firstname.lastname@example.org Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook or Twitter @ Drrobertowens