Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Why Obama will Fail

If the sight of a starving child makes you angry; if you want to do away with poverty and create a better, fairer, more affluent society; you must think long and hard. You must do a serious, dispassionate study of history, as I have done. Like me, you must study economics, logic, philosophy and the principles of a Constitutional Republic. You must read the Founding Fathers and learn how they thought and why. And you must learn about the people responsible for poverty and how they get away with it; how they exploit people and steal their life blood; you must learn about the history of dictatorship, fascism, communism, radical leftists in America and how they hope to bring European communism (dictatorship) to the world. Then if you have done a proper job of learning, you will conclude, as I have done, that the best and only way to solve the problem of poverty is to establish full unregulated capitalism. You must protest the atrocities fostered by progressivism. You must fight for Liberty.

The progressives in the Obama administration claim to be part of an honorable tradition in American politics. Unlike their political enemies, they claim to represent a more enlightened philosophy, one that wants to make things better for Americans. They see economic injustice and want to fix it; they want to make capitalism more inclusive and fair. Yet, during their long history, American progressives have had associations with eugenics, socialism, communism, the labor movement and even fascism.

The reason for these associations is simple. Progressives agree, in principle, with the premises of these philosophies. They grew up together. Although today there are some “honest” liberals who still adhere to Constitutional protections, such as the right of a woman to her body, there is one basic premise that all progressives of all varieties agree upon; and it is this premise that makes them all wrong.

This premise is the need of progressives to use coercion to re-distribute wealth. This is true of every progressive scheme.

1. What does it mean in practice to re-distribute wealth and
2. Whose rights are violated in order for progressive schemes to work?

Few people realize that progressive interference with capitalism always causes unintended consequences that are often worse than the intended benefits of wealth re-distribution. Let’s give a couple of examples.

Let’s assume that the government imposes a tax on your small business skating rink. The government makes a case that people who skate have more broken ankles and make a stronger demand on hospitals. So in order to help hospitals take care of broken ankles it imposes a tax of 10% on people who go to your skating rink. For you this requires that you raise your prices by 10% to cover the tax. In order to ensure that they eat as well as they have eaten in the past, your customers decide to go to the skating rink less often. This also means that you, the business owner, must now pay employees to collect the tax and remit the money to the government while also dealing with the loss of skaters. You may go out of business or reduce the number of employees that you can afford to hire.

Or let’s assume that the government thinks an industry might have some characters who are harming consumers and in order to correct that behavior it imposes regulations and reporting procedures that your business has to provide to the government. Not only could you be jailed for not complying with the reporting requirements but you could also be fined or jailed if the government determines that you have cheated the consumer in some way. First of all, you have to live with the possibility that the reporting you do to the government might be misinterpreted in some way or that the government official who evaluates your reports might be in the pay of your competitor and that he will find something that he can interpret as being wrong. You might, in order to stay in business, have to pay a bribe and go to jail if your payoff is discovered. Because of the regulations imposed on you, it becomes difficult to do business honestly which defeats the supposed purpose of the regulation.

Then you also have to hire additional people to fill out forms and reports for the government, auditors to look at everything you do to determine if you are doing something wrong that should be corrected. These new employees add to your overhead costs and require that you cut other productive employees in order to pay these employees who don’t help you serve the consumer. So your ability to serve the consumer, the very reason for the reporting requirements, may be hurt. This might cause you to lose customers to your larger competitor who can afford to fulfill the compliance requirements. If you are a small business, you may not be able to stay in business with these new costs. In fact, this was the result of the Sarbannes Oxley Act signed into law by the Bush administration.

You could write a book chronicling every government intervention into the economy and the damage done by each of them and you would still not convince a progressive that government intervention never improves things. You would not even be able to convince a majority of CEOs of major corporations of the same thing. Yet it is their rights as well as the rights of every individual in our society that are violated by these intrusions. More than this their lives are damaged as well.

Ayn Rand wrote: “The only proper, moral purpose of a government is to protect man's rights, which means: to protect him from physical violence—to protect his right to his own life, to his own liberty, to his own property and to the pursuit of his own happiness. Without property rights, no other rights are possible.”

You would have thought that sooner or later an honest person would have entered the political fray to declare that progressivism is a fraud. You might have even thought that somewhere along the line even a progressive with enough standing in his movement would have recognized that progressivism accomplishes the opposite of its stated goals. But no one has. In the country where free speech still exists, no one has been able to articulate the truth that progressivism is false. Instead progressives continue to cling to a litany of false premises without challenge. How have they advanced their views? They explicitly hold to the following false tenets:

1. Capitalism is theft. This lie has been refuted by many economists. It is based on the labor theory of value which is the idea that the value of a product is dependent only upon the amount of labor expended in creating it (this justifies the coercive protection that the Obama administration extends to SEIU and other labor unions). We now know that there are a variety of other factors that determine the value of any given product, not the least of which is the value placed upon it by the purchaser and the amount of money he is willing to pay for it...regardless of the amount of labor expended on it. We also know that being a capitalist is not exploitation; that it takes tremendous skill and ability to conceive, create and manage a highly productive business…it also takes the genius of those leaders who are able to forge new industries and create massive wealth-producing organizations that benefit consumers and laborers. You have to ask yourself about the low level of knowledge in the administration about sound economic principles or even about history.
2. Capitalism is evil. In order to displace capitalism the progressives use propaganda based on the labor theory of value to assert that capitalists maliciously steal the labor of workers. This view is stolen straight from religion; it was the religions of the world that held this world and anything done in it by selfish profit-seekers to be evil. This included rich people such as merchants, jewelers, bankers, ship owners and anyone who lived to make a profit. Yes, progressives got their main ideas from 2000 years ago.
3. Capitalism is flawed and creates bubbles and distortions. A careful analysis of history shows that it is not capitalism that is responsible for economic depressions but government intervention. In fact, capitalism is nothing more than freely chosen transactions engaged in by people for the sake of their self-interest. These kinds of transactions cannot cause economic downturns because they are mutually beneficial. The only factors that can cause bubbles and other economic distortions are massive interferences in the economy by government.
4. Incrementalism is the progressive tactic of introducing minor changes in the economy when there is not enough political support for major changes. The purpose of incrementalism is to establish the precedent that government has the right to interfere in peoples’ lives and to lay the groundwork for the later expansion of those interferences.
5. The idea that you can improve conditions for “victims” of capitalism establishes a constituency of dependents upon government that will vote for government coercion. The idea that this is the will of the people violates the basis of a Constitutional Republic and establishes the contradiction that enables progressives to wedge their way into social control and totalitarianism.
6. Progressives are perennial liars simply because they must hide from people the nature of what they are doing. In fact, their world is made up of meaningless words, phony images, manipulation of opinion and the idea that perception is reality. They skim over reality like a well-thrown rock skimming over water. They ignore questions like: What justifies taking the money of one person and giving it to another? Is using government to “solve” social problems the constitutional thing to do? What happens to the people whose dollars are taken away? How does that affect their standard of living and is it right for them to suffer so that others may enjoy the luxury of not caring for themselves? Are there better non-coercive ways for people to solve their so-called "social" problems? What gives the government the right to confiscate the hard earned money of citizens? What about all the waste and corruption? How are lost funds going to be recovered and why is no one making an effort to recover them? In order to avoid such questions, progressives just ignore them and talk about the non-existent benefits of their economic manipulations.
7. Progressives lie that the USA is an Imperialist nation. This lie confuses the need of America to defend itself against dictators and other thugs around the world. The truth is that most examples of American “imperialism” are nothing more than a free country defending itself and its economic interests against thugs and robbers. Although some of our Presidents had imperialist policies, by and large, the history of our nation has been decidedly anti-imperialist. We have fought more empires than we have been accused of creating.
8. Progressives portray themselves as “good” stewards of government while their opposition is denigrated as evil and deserving of hatred and ridicule. They offer no reason for this view except that they represent the philosophy of sacrifice which is considered by them to be the most practical way to get things done – and the most moral. In keeping with the view of one of their leaders, they do what they can with what they have and wrap it in moral garments. They take it upon themselves to represent supposed victims in order to acquire the allegiance of those victims and defeat their political opposition. It is a shell game.
9. Sound economic principles are ignored by progressives and this opens the door for corruption and theft, oligarchy and fascism, slush funds and re-distribution, all of which accomplish the opposite of progressive promises. The good cannot be advanced by forcing people to sacrifice.

For decades progressives have been promising to fix problems supposedly created by capitalism. Yet, with all the talk about economics, with all the verbiage about this theory and that, the liberals have not explained the basic economic principles that drive their policies and recommended programs. They have never felt the need to tell us why force imposed on innocent civilians is good for the economy. This is because they have written the history books and whitewashed their own complicity in the destruction of the last century. To hide the fact that they caused most of the problems of this century, they blame capitalism.

What is missing in the arguments of the progressives? What is their basic principle that they never discuss? The progressives’ basic principle is the idea that the government has the duty and the right to coerce people. For progressives – all of them – there is no debate about the idea that progressivism is coercive; that it violates the principles of the Constitution. This principle is never debated because the progressives don’t want us to know that coercion is not just their method of operating, it is the goal of their movement.

How do they get away with this? Many of the progressives have grown up on the idea that all they want is to help people. Many well-meaning people actually believe this. They lose the connection between stated intentions to do good and the reality that coercion never accomplishes good. They use emotive language to talk about how people need to be helped, how the poor are innocent victims of greedy people, how it is good to help our neighbors and how love of humanity is their only motivation. With tears in their eyes, they proclaim freedom for the exploited...while they implement coercive programs that significantly add to the costs of doing business, add to the cost of living and destroy these innocent victims that they claim to represent (when you see the dirty face of a starving child, you can thank a progressive). Then, in an even more tearful scream to the world, they blame capitalism for the destruction that they have brought about. Yet it is capitalism (you and me) that has created more beneficial products, created more employment and done more good in the world than all the progressives put together.

Indeed, the so-called great liberal economists and regulators of the Obama administration continue to talk about an economy as if it were a gadget, a machine that must be primed (inflation) and pumped (taxes) and oiled and fueled (gas) and moved (automobiles), to such an extent that they have failed to mention or realize that the machine is made up of parts--living human parts that suffer whenever an "adjustment" is made to their economic activities. We are feeling this now more than ever. Ask these regulators where their Constitutional authority resides and they will blink and bluster that they represent the will of the people; they won the last election; this gives them the authority to do what they want. Their blindness on this issue has led them to complaining about unemployment but advocating policies that have and will create more unemployment. They claim to represent the “public good” while they create no good. They claim that things will get better if they are allowed to “tweak” capitalism in favor of the victims of capitalism while such tweaks create less economic activity. They blame capitalism in the midst of the oligarchy and fascism they have created. They smile and proclaim a love for the downtrodden, blame Bush for all the problems they caused, then get into limousines that take them to jets purchased by our tax dollars, so they can tell us how they intend to plan our society as if the money they spend is theirs not ours.

In order to have a productive society you need producers. In order to have production you need freedom and property rights. In order to have a civil society you need a government that defends freedom and property rights. Today, the progressives do nothing productive, attack freedom and property rights and impose regulations and laws that restrict economic activity while they claim that their “planning” of our society is a reflection of their yet-to-be-demonstrated intelligence, education and astute abilities; the result of which has been chaos and decline.

Government planning means planning lives, and no life is productive which has no individual incentive. Consider what it means for our future that people who got famous protesting in the streets and universities against capitalism are now in charge of the most productive (capitalist) society in history.

What is the basic contradiction in the Obama administration? What do we need to say to them that will clearly state what they are doing wrong? They need to understand that it is man's basic nature as a rational being that makes economic planning impossible. It is man's ability to be moral (by making the right decisions for his individual life) that they are attacking. No planner can replace his own thinking for the thinking of millions of people as they make hundreds of thousands of decisions every day.

The apathy many people feel about government today comes from government taking an increasingly commanding role in peoples' lives through so-called stimulus programs, deficit spending, health care programs, cap and trade programs, card check and the various other programs that the progressives are forcing down our throats. Don't blame that apathy on people or capitalism; blame it on the Obama administration. If you must blame it on greed, blame it on the greed of progressives who want to control your work, your income and your life.

To the President, I would say that you can't just smile at people and say things are getting better when the people know better. You can't ask small businesses to hire people and plan for the future while you are in the process of brazenly and openly destroying that future. You can't fool the people. Wishing doesn't make it so, Mr. President. Yours is the most immoral administration in history because you are making it impossible for people to make moral decisions.

Mr. Obama, we did not elect you to violate the Constitution; you took the same oath to protect it as past leaders did. You are not doing your job. You are destroying our country. You have looted it under a call to sacrifice...and now you have the audacity to ask for more sacrifice. You even have the audacity to ask for cooperation from us while you do what your radical friends want. Stop smiling, Mr. President because we are not. We want to live while you are killing us.

Government planning does not mean a benevolent judgment based upon the sophisticated opinion of highly skilled economists. It means a gun that backs up a law, regulation, or economic adjustment with which the American citizen will have to comply whether he likes it or not. It was an American who said, "Give me Liberty of give me death." It is time for a modern American to say, "Give me Liberty or you’ll soon be out of a job."

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