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  An American Manifesto
Friday October 24, 2014 
by Christopher Chantrill Follow chrischantrill on Twitter

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"The Backs of our Mosts Vulnerable Citizens" Trillions and Trillions

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Jobs and Revolution

by Christopher Chantrill
February 13, 2011 at 5:29 am

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SINCE I know nothing about Egypt beyond what I read in the papers, I won’t comment on the Egyptian revolution. All I can say is that I agree with the pundits. When you have an autocratic regime then you get rigidities in the economy and society that strain and stress it until something breaks. The only thing these thug dictators understand is spoils for their supporters and thuggery for the rest. Freedom? Schmeedom.

So instead of solving Egypt’s problems let’s talk about America’s jobs problem. No doubt you’ve heard the mainstream media anguish about the mixed job numbers released on Friday. Here they are in chart form, direct from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Household Survey website. First of all, let’s look at the employment situation.

Not good. If there ever was a jobless recovery, of the kind that Nancy Pelosi used to rage about back in 2003, this is it. Eight million jobs lost since the peak in 2006, and no net jobs for the last year, in spite of a trillion or so in “stimulus.” But the really shocking numbers are in the labor force, the total of people actually working or actively looking for work.

The labor force has been flat for three years. Notice that even in Nancy Pelosi’s nightmare years, the Bush jobless recovery in 2002-2003, the labor force was increasing smartly as people entered the labor force looking for work. Not now, not with the mixed economic news of the Obama jobless recovery.

Of course, the sluggishness in the labor market is hardly surprising. The Obama administration and its willing accomplices in the Congress just spent two years rewarding their supporters with new economic rigidities like ObamaCare, stimulus spending for government workers, new environmental penalties like the EPA effort to regulate carbon dioxide, slowdowns and and outright bans on energy production, meddlings in the housing market, and billions in subsidies to its supporters in the crony capitalist green energy business. It seems that the only thing our politicians know is to reward their supporters and send their thugs out to beat the economy into submission.

Pretty soon the voters will be ready to throw the bums out and vote for hope and change. After all, there are millions of jobless out there, and sooner or later they are going to get desperate. But let me make it clear. The situation in the US is nothing like the situation in Egypt. For instance, we don’t have millions of people in the streets.

We do? You are saying that the American people the Tea Party movement have been in the streets peacefully protesting ever since the winter of 2009? Well, I suppose you have a point. And based on his State of the Union speech, the president still thinks that the answer to our problems is more government, a program described by the divine Sarah as “a bullet train to bankruptcy.”

Anyway, violence never solved anything. War is not the answer. That is what those nice silver-haired liberal ladies tell us from the bumpers of their Toyota Priuses.

Excuse me, lady. What do you think that the individual mandate is all about? It says: go get health insurance or else. What do you think that universal compulsory education is all about? It says: send your kid to school or government may take it away. What do you think that taxation is all about? Pay your taxes or go to jail. So you see that it’s not just thug dictators that believe in force and violence; nice educated liberal ladies of a certain age believe in force too.

We conservatives are different. We believe in dialing down the level of force in society, starting with government force. We believe that the way to get America back to work is not with crony capitalist green energy and bullet trains to bankruptcy. We believe it starts with lower tax rates and lower government spending. We believe, with Deirdre McCloskey, in the great middle class, a bourgeoisie dignified and free: free to innovate and free to experiment.

In that city on a hill, where you and I have a rendezvous with destiny, there is a slow, steady evolution every day as new ideas in the economy drive out old ideas, as a few people every day lose their jobs and a few people find new jobs, so there is never a need to take to the streets. In the culmination of this incandescent vision, the last best hope of mankind on earth, government is limited and greedy bankers don’t take home the big bucks.

It’s not asking much. Limited government, a middle class that’s innovative and free, jobs, jobs, jobs, and everyone trying to make the world immediately around them a better place for them and their children. Call it American exceptionalism, the middle class alternative to bloody revolution in the streets of Cairo.

Christopher Chantrill blogs at www.roadtothemiddleclass.com.

Buy his Road to the Middle Class.

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 TAGS


Action

The incentive that impels a man to act is always some uneasiness... But to make a man act [he must have] the expectation that purposeful behavior has the power to remove or at least to alleviate the felt uneasiness.
Ludwig von Mises, Human Action


Chappies

“But I saw a man yesterday who knows a fellow who had it from a chappie that said that Urquhart had been dipping himself a bit recklessly off the deep end.”  —Freddy Arbuthnot
Dorothy L. Sayers, Strong Poison


China and Christianity

At first, we thought [the power of the West] was because you had more powerful guns than we had. Then we thought it was because you had the best political system. Next we focused on your economic system. But in the past twenty years, we have realized that the heart of your culture is your religion: Christianity.
David Aikman, Jesus in Beijing


Churches

[In the] higher Christian churches... they saunter through the liturgy like Mohawks along a string of scaffolding who have long since forgotten their danger. If God were to blast such a service to bits, the congregation would be, I believe, genuinely shocked. But in the low churches you expect it every minute.
Annie Dillard, Holy the Firm


Civil Society

“Civil Society”—a complex welter of intermediate institutions, including businesses, voluntary associations, educational institutions, clubs, unions, media, charities, and churches—builds, in turn, on the family, the primary instrument by which people are socialized into their culture and given the skills that allow them to live in broader society and through which the values and knowledge of that society are transmitted across the generations.
Francis Fukuyama, Trust


Class War

In England there were always two sharply opposed middle classes, the academic middle class and the commercial middle class. In the nineteenth century, the academic middle class won the battle for power and status... Then came the triumph of Margaret Thatcher... The academics lost their power and prestige and... have been gloomy ever since.
Freeman Dyson, “The Scientist as Rebel”


Conservatism

Conservatism is the philosophy of society. Its ethic is fraternity and its characteristic is authority — the non-coercive social persuasion which operates in a family or a community. It says ‘we should...’.
Danny Kruger, On Fraternity


Conservatism's Holy Grail

What distinguishes true Conservatism from the rest, and from the Blair project, is the belief in more personal freedom and more market freedom, along with less state intervention... The true Third Way is the Holy Grail of Tory politics today - compassion and community without compulsion.
Minette Marrin, The Daily Telegraph


Conversion

“When we received Christ,” Phil added, “all of a sudden we now had a rule book to go by, and when we had problems the preacher was right there to give us the answers.”
James M. Ault, Jr., Spirit and Flesh


Democratic Capitalism

I mean three systems in one: a predominantly market economy; a polity respectful of the rights of the individual to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; and a system of cultural institutions moved by ideals of liberty and justice for all. In short, three dynamic and converging systems functioning as one: a democratic polity, an economy based on markets and incentives, and a moral-cultural system which is plural and, in the largest sense, liberal.
Michael Novak, The Spirit of Democratic Capitalism


Drang nach Osten

There was nothing new about the Frankish drive to the east... [let] us recall that the continuance of their rule depended upon regular, successful, predatory warfare.
Richard Fletcher, The Barbarian Conversion


Education

“We have met with families in which for weeks together, not an article of sustenance but potatoes had been used; yet for every child the hard-earned sum was provided to send them to school.”
E. G. West, Education and the State


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©2012 Christopher Chantrill