How to Undermine the Economy

If you wanted to come up with a plan to undermine the economy of the most prosperous and successful nation on earth, how would you go about it?

The first thing you’d have to do would be to debase the underlying value system that provides the foundation for prosperity. That is, the value system to which the founders of this nation, and many generations of immigrants who came here seeking opportunity, subscribed. The core of that value system is the belief that you do not deserve anything you have not earned.

The first step would be to condition the populace to believe that prosperity is bad, that anybody who makes more than a modest income must be evil (or at least dishonest), and that nobody really deserves to be rich, no matter how much they contribute to the economy or how many opportunities they create for others. The rich, by definition, are always a minority, since the term itself implies someone who has substantially greater wealth than the average person. All that’s usually needed to turn the many against the few is a sense of grievance.

Fostering a sense of grievance can be accomplished by promoting the notion that everybody, by virtue of their very existence, is entitled to basic sustenance, such as healthcare, food, shelter, etc. This attitude can be cultivated by establishing a system of bureaucracies (paid for almost entirely by the rich) that provide free handouts to everybody else, while nurturing a sense of perpetual resentment among the people receiving the handouts toward those who provide the wherewithal to satisfy their ever-increasing expectations.

The many are not generally aware that nearly 90% of the income taxes that sustain our government, and all the services “it” provides, are collected from the top 20% of income earners. And, if the many were aware of that, do you think they’d feel like saying “Thank you”? Not likely. Because they’ve been conditioned to believe that the rich don’t deserve their wealth, and that they, the beneficiaries of all those taxes paid by the rich, deserve that money more than the people who earned it. What did the beneficiaries do to deserve it? Nothing. But they exist, and therefore they’re entitled to things they cannot afford, so the money should be taken from those who can afford it and redistributed to them.

Having undermined the cultural values that provide the basis for a prosperous economy, by fostering a culture of dependency on ever-expanding government services, you now have popular support for the next step, which is to penalize production. You do that by regulating industries to the point where the cost of doing business is too great to justify the returns, forcing businesses to either downsize, go bankrupt, or relocate offshore. That increases unemployment, creating an even greater dependency on government services. At the same time, it reduces production so there’s less wealth to tax, and less money coming into the system to support the ever-increasing demands.

At that point, you’ve got a self-perpetuating cycle, with ever-increasing demands on the system and ever-diminishing resources from which to draw to provide for them. To add fuel to the firestorm, you can use the increasing demands as an excuse to raise taxes on the remaining top producers even more, driving more employers out of business or offshore, creating an even larger non-productive class, and further accelerating the drain on the system…

But why stop there? At this point, the economy is so unstable, it can be toppled with ease. To finish it off in style, all that’s required is to spend like a drunken sailor. Get the nation so far in debt to hostile foreign powers that they won’t accept our IOUs any more. Print up fiat money and dilute our currency to the point that the whole world loses confidence in it and the G20 proposes a new international monetary standard. Then distract the citizens by holding contests in Congress to see who can spend money the fastest, and call it a “stimulus plan.”

At that point, the death spiral reaches critical mass. That’s where we are today. How did we get to this point? Well, it could just be a combination of entropy, ignorance, and well-intentioned idiots. Or it could be that there are those who actively seek to undermine our economy to bring our nation to its knees. For what purpose? That depends on who’s pulling the strings. I concede that this begins to sound a little paranoid from someone who usually dismisses conspiracy theories. On the other hand, it’s hard to imagine that anyone, especially the leaders of our nation, are stupid enough not to realize they’re doing the exact things required to accelerate the collapse of our already destabilized economy. And, if they’re not stupid, then they must have a reason for what they’re doing.


Bookmark/Rate this post: Digg it Stumble It! add to del.icio.us
Advertisements

Is “I Told You So” Worth the Price?

Romney has gracefully bowed out of the race, explaining that he doesn’t want to divide the party any longer and exhorting us all to unite behind McCain. I regret to see him go. Obviously, I would have preferred for him to be the nominee. (Once again, my record is intact. — Every time I settle on one of the remaining candidates, he’s the next one to drop out.) But it was already clear that McCain was going to win the nomination; so I think Romney did what he needed to do, and I think he did it well.

Nevertheless, a number of conservatives are still planning to vote for the Clintons or Obama. They say it’s because they anticipate the worst, and want the Democrats to take the blame. If you’re one of those people, I have to ask, what exactly is it you want them to take the blame for?

  • For raising taxes to redistribute more wealth from those who earn it to those who don’t?

    Great. They’ll get the blame. You’ll get the bill.
    Is it worth it?

  • For bringing the war back home and fighting the terrorists here instead of there?

    Maybe they’ll be blamed. Or maybe they won’t. They already maintain that the reason the terrorists hate us is because the darned Repbublicans insist on supporting our ally, Isreal, instead of letting the Islamic fanatics destroy it. So, when they bring the troops home, and the terrorists follow, they’ll still blame the Republicans. — Becaues it really is America’s fault that those poor misunderstood terrorists hate us, after all…

  • For universal healthcare?

    Some people will blame them, — like those of us who end up footing the bill for other people’s unhealthy habits, and those who will be compelled by law to buy something they don’t think they need. But others will think it’s great, — the ones who end up getting subsidized by the rest of us. (They vote too, you know.)

  • For more problems with illegal aliens?

    Obviously, the voters don’t really care, since all of the candidates left in the race support the same immigration legislation.

  • For packing the Supreme Court with liberal justices?

    Some people will like it; some people won’t.
    But we’ll all have to live with the consequences.
    Are you OK with that?

Even if the Demos do get the blame, the damage will be done and we’ll be paying the price for years, well beyond the next administration. Is it really worth the price? Conservatives sat out the last election, with the same justification, and all it got us was a Democrat-controlled Congress. What good will it do to turn over the Exectutive Branch as well?

Those who are planning to withhold their votes, or vote for a third party candidate, might as well be voting for the Clintons or Obama, because that’s exactly what the Democrats are counting on. The liberals/Democrats will all rally around whichever socialist wins their nomination. The conservatives/Republicans will be so fragmented that we won’t even present a challenge. That’s the real reason the Domocrats favor McCain. It’s not because they actually support him (he’s diametrically opposed to them on taxes and the war), but because he’s so hated by the conservatives that they know, if he wins the nomination, the Demos won’t have any opposition.

I can relate to the frustration of the people who just want to walk away from this election in disgust, and wash their hands of it. It’s hard to muster the will to fight for a candidate you don’t even believe in. But remember all the federal agencies and presidential appointments. It’s not just the president you’re voting for, it’s which party controls the whole executive branch. If you don’t vote for the Republican candidate, you’re playing right into the Demos’ agenda.


Bookmark/Rate this post: Digg it  Stumble It! add to del.icio.us
Published in: on February 7, 2008 at 9:42 pm  Comments (6)  
Tags: , , , , , , ,

There are Worse Things than McCain — Really!

OK, McCain it is. I’m not happy. You’re probably not either. I don’t know who all these “Republicans” are who are voting for him in the primaries, because I’m not aware of one person who likes him. But, be that as it may, the RINOs have spoken and McCain is going to be the Republican candidate. What do we do now?

The pragmatists will weigh the pros and cons and decide which candidate will do less harm to the country. The petulants will go home and sulk, and either not vote at all or throw away their vote on a third party candidate. The punitives will actually cross over and give aid and comfort to the enemy in our country’s time of crisis, and cast their vote for the Democrats out of spite.

From a pragmatist perspective, what are the key issues? The economy, the war, immigration, healthcare, and Supreme Court appointments are probably the most important.

The economy is a big one, because there’s a fundamental philosophical difference in the way Republicans and Democrats address the problem. Republicans believe in fixing the economy by cutting taxes to stimulate growth. Democrats believe the way to fix the economy is by raising taxes and redistributing the wealth. Which do you prefer? 

  •  McCain’s plan is to extend the Bush tax cuts, create more tax cuts for middle class families, make the current low capital gains and dividends tax rates permanent, and require a 60% majority in Congress to raise taxes in the future. He’ll also cut government programs that don’t work, earmarks, subsidies, and pork barrel spending.
  • Mrs. Clinton’s plan is to eliminate the Bush tax cuts, raise capital gains and dividends taxes back to their previous levels, spend $10 billion dollars on extending and broadening unemployment entitlements, hand over $25 billion to low/no income families for “emergency energy assistance,” establish a $30 billion emergency housing fund, and put a five-year rate freeze on sub-prime mortgages.

The war is another big one. Would you rather we fight it over there or over here?

  • McCain fully supports doing whatever is necessary to prosecute the war to the finish. He has consistently supported it from the start, and was an early proponent of the increase in troops.
  • Mrs. Clinton and Obama both supported the Iraq spending bill that would have brought most of our troops home by next month. Mrs. Clinton has promised that, if elected, she’ll bring all the troops home within two years. Obama promises to do it in one. Then we can fight the terrorists on our own soil. That ought to be fun.

On immigration, it’s a wash. They all supported the same immigration bill. Yes, McCain was a sponsor of it, but it’s the one thing on which they all agree, so there’s no win here.

On healthcare, we all know what Mrs. Clinton’s plan is.

  • Mrs. Clinton wants to legislate that everybody has to buy health insurance. For those who can’t afford it, she’ll just take the money out the rest of our pockets to make up the difference.
  • McCain opposes mandatory universal healthcare coverage.

There are likely to be three Supreme Court Justice appointments during the next administration.

  • McCain is a strict constructionist.
  • Mrs. Clinton would pack the court with liberal judges who believe we all need to be protected from ourselves more than we do from criminals and, like children, we can’t be trusted with firearms. (It’s kind of hard to defend yourself in an emergency with a trigger lock on your gun, but Mrs. Clinton thinks it’s necessary so we don’t accidentally shoot ourselves.)

There’s another consideration for the pragmatists. The president appoints the heads of a lot of federal agencies. If we have a Republican (or even a RINO) in the White House, these federal agencies are going to be run by Republicans. If we elect the Clintons or Obama, they’ll be run by socialists. Remember, it’s not just the president you’re voting for, it’s the party, too. 

Question of the day: If McCain were to choose Fred Thompson as his running mate, would that change your mind?


Bookmark/Rate this post: Digg it Stumble It! add to del.icio.us

Redistribution of Health

Why do I keep picking on poor Mrs. Clinton? Hasn’t she suffered enough (after living with Bill all these years)? I pick on her because she’s a serious contender for the office of President of the United States. And, frankly, that makes me very nervous. It has nothing to do with the fact that she’s a woman. It has everything to do with her political agenda.

 Mrs. Clinton’s proposed healthcare plan “requires insurance companies to offer coverage to anyone who applies, and bars insurance companies from charging higher premiums to those with pre-existing conditions.”1

It sounds great, on the surface. But what isn’t stated is that, if insurance companies can’t deny coverage to anybody, even those who make lifestyle choices that put them at greater risk, and they can’t raise rates for those with greater risk factors, the only alternative left to them is to raise the rates for those who are generally healthy to cover the much higher costs of insuring those who are not. Making the healthy pay more for health insurance so those who use it more can pay less brings to mind a new twist on Marx’s old motto: From each according to their health, and to each according to their infirmity. — But she also promises to make health care affordable for everybody. And that’s where the redistribution of health melds into (surprise!) the redistribution of wealth.

Her plan “offers tax credits to limit health care premiums to a certain percentage of a family’s income. Cost estimated at $110 billion annually, to be paid for by eliminating the Bush tax cuts for those earning over $250,000.”1

I keep hearing this and, the way it’s always phrased, it sounds like Bush implemented special tax cuts for those earning over $250,000. Sounds kind of like he’s doing favors for his rich buddies, doesn’t it? And that’s exactly what it’s intended to sound like. But, just to be clear, the tax cuts in question apply to everybody, not just to those making over $250,000. What Mrs. Clinton is proposing is to make those who earn “too much” ineligible for them. (And the other Democrats are proposing the same thing.) That was exactly the reasoning behind the Alternative Minimum Tax when it was first implemented in 1969, and only affected 155 taxpayers. In 2000, one million households were affected by the AMT, and it’s projected to be 30 million by 2010. This year, 20% of all taxpayers will be affected by it, some earning as little as $50,000.2

It’s easy to win votes by saying we’ll just get the wealthy to pay for whatever we want. Since there are a lot more of us than there are of them, the Democrats figure it should be easy to garner support for a plan that sounds like soaking the rich to benefit the rest of us. But just remember, there are a lot of other tax cuts they want to eliminate too, and, chances are, some of them will affect you.

1 CNN Election Center
2 Washingon Post


Rate this post: Digg it Stumble It! add to del.icio.us
Published in: on January 23, 2008 at 10:56 pm  Comments (11)  
Tags: , , , ,