|"The Backs of our Mosts Vulnerable Citizens"||Trillions and Trillions|
by Christopher Chantrill
February 13, 2011 at 5:29 am
SINCE I know nothing about Egypt beyond what I read in the papers, I wont 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 Egypts problems lets talk about Americas jobs problem. No doubt youve 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, lets 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 Pelosis 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 dont 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 its 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 dont take home the big bucks.
Its not asking much. Limited government, a middle class thats 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.
Buy his Road to the Middle Class.
When we began first to preach these things, the people appeared as awakened from the sleep of agesthey seemed to see for the first time that they were responsible beings, and that a refusal to use the means appointed was a damning sin.
Finke, Stark, The Churching of America, 1776-1990
In 1911... at least nine million of the 12 million covered by national insurance were already members of voluntary sick pay schemes. A similar proportion were also eligible for medical care.
Green, Reinventing Civil Society
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
Law being too tenuous to rely upon in [Ulster and the Scottish borderlands], people developed patterns of settling differences by personal fighting and family feuds.
Thomas Sowell, Conquests and Cultures
The primary thing to keep in mind about German and Russian thought since
1800 is that it takes for granted that the Cartesian, Lockean or Humean scientific and
philosophical conception of man and nature... has been shown by indisputable evidence to be
F.S.C. Northrop, The Meeting of East and West
Inquiry does not start unless there is a problem... It is the problem and its
characteristics revealed by analysis which guides one first to the relevant facts and then,
once the relevant facts are known, to the relevant hypotheses.
F.S.C. Northrop, The Logic of the Sciences and the Humanities
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.
Dorothy L. Sayers, Strong Poison
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
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
[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
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
The recognition and integration of extralegal property rights [in the Homestead Act] was a key element in the United States becoming the most important market economy and producer of capital in the world.
Hernando de Soto, The Mystery of Capital