Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The end of conservatism...

I had to post the whole thing. It's just that scary.
All of a sudden, this election is shaping up as a verdict on capitalism. The Obama campaign wanted it to be about George W. Bush. The McCain campaign wanted it to be about character. But instead, because the markets are shooting off in all directions like bullets from a dropped pistol, the stakes have suddenly been raised dramatically.

We are in the midst of the worst panic in history, it’s true (because it is global). But as historian John Steele Gordon helpfully pointed on in the Wall Street Journal, panics are not unusual in American history. We’ve experienced them almost every 20 years since 1819. Gordon blames Thomas Jefferson, which is intriguing, but the point is that we’ve always emerged from these periodic paroxysms intact and our economy has continued to grow. Gordon believes more sensible banking policy would prevent future panics. But if we elect a crypto-socialist like Barack Obama and give him a bigger Democrat majority in the House and a filibuster-proof Senate, banking regulation may be the least of our troubles.

Well, you may say, “Win some, lose some. McCain isn’t all that great anyway. Conservatives and Republicans will simply have to examine their consciences and come up with a winning strategy for next time.” Perhaps. But there are a few problems with that sanguine approach.

In the first place, the Democrats can, with a super-majority, change the rules of the game. They can make the District of Columbia the 51st state with two new senators (guaranteed to be Democrats in perpetuity). They can reinstitute the so-called Fairness Doctrine that required radio stations to provide equal time to all political viewpoints. While the doctrine was enforced by the Federal Communications Commission, radio stations shied away from politics altogether. With the demise of the doctrine, conservative talk radio flourished. Liberal talk radio has never found much of an audience. Reviving the doctrine would kill one of the principal irritants to liberals and Democrats — to say nothing of disemboweling the First Amendment.

To elect a super-majority of Democrats at a time of economic dislocation is to flirt with depression. Nearly all economists agree that two moves by the Hoover administration deepened and prolonged the panic of 1929 and turned it into the Great Depression. One was raising taxes and the other was imposing protectionist trade policies. Senator Obama proposes to do both of those things. Obama’s smooth reassurance that only the top-five percent of earners in America will see their taxes rise is a) almost certainly false, and b) besides the point. If the most productive members of society — those who create the majority of jobs — are taxed we will have fewer jobs. It’s the old rule that if you tax something you get less of it. While Obama is killing jobs by taxing the productive, he proposes to “renegotiate” NAFTA and other trade deals thus putting the one bright corner of our economy, the export sector, in his crosshairs.

Obama has a million schemes to redistribute the wealth of the top five percent, (who by the way, already pay more than 50 percent of the taxes in our steeply progressive system). He wants to provide college for “anyone who wants to go and agrees to perform community service,” and community development block grants, and childcare, and universal pre-school, and housing, and retirement and on and on. He seems determined that more people will ride in the wagon than pull it.

“Well,” you may say, “if the Democrats drive the country into a deep recession, so much the worse for them. The Republicans will come back strong — even with two senators from D.C.!” Perhaps. But in hard times people tend to ask for more government, not less, and this tumble started while George W. Bush was in the White House. Franklin Roosevelt continued to invoke the boogey man of Herbert Hoover long after the Depression was his own. In fact, Democrats used Hoover successfully for 40 more years!

Finally, there is a one-way ratchet in public policy. Liberal reforms are never undone. How hard have conservatives tried to eliminate the Department of Education or subsidies to public television? Would they have more success uncreating a new nationalized health-care system?

An Obama/Pelosi/Reid regime — if it were to get a filibuster-proof majority — will certainly be able to shift the country’s direction sharply to the Left. The only question is — would the shift be permanent?
A 51st state? = New Flag Pin which President Obama won't wear anyway... yikes.

Tax the rich? To all those non-rich, it sounds good, but Yikes.

She didn't really even get to Universal Healthcare... and YIKES! Obama will get a pass if he's in there for four years, and they'll re-elect him, blaming Bush the whole way. He'll get credit if the economy rebounds, just like Clinton.

I've been saying it for months: Once we go in that direction...we may never be able to go back.


OKonheim said...

"He seems determined that more people will ride in the wagon than pull it."

Ooohhh, god-forbid that he wants to help the have-nots and level the playing field a little. I think you're party should just admit that you are a group of haves who are voting for the candidates that help the haves and deny the have nots, because it's not in your interests. Of course you can't do that because the haves are a minority and you need the have nots on board to win the vote.

Otherwise, exactly how do you guys plan to help the have nots anyway, if you hate welfare, assistance for college education, or even raising the minimum wage? I still have never gotten the "let us rich people keep as much of our money as possible, and it will work out for you better, i promise!" strategy.

The way, I see it those born from rich families or even being born into suburban school districts are the ones riding the wagon while the poor (and even the illegal Mexican immigrants) are pulling it. It's incredibly easy to get into college if you went to our high school, for example. I was just catching up with some people from high school, and realized that like 95% of the people I knew in high school graduated within 6 or 7 years.

The vast majority of your party does not understand college, both in being admitted to it and paying for it, and success is not an easily attainable thing for people in poor school districts or inner-city poverty. Giving a bump to help people get into college, gets them educated, it doesn't give them money, so saying it's a free ride is a completely faulty analogy. We have a way lower literacy and education rate than all the other developed countries anyway.

And besides, why do we need conservative talk radio to still exist. Rush Limbaugh and company spew out things that aren't even fact-checked and just add hatred to our national discourse. This author is saying, that it would be a tragedy if these guys were required to present a balanced (aka accurate) view of the stories?

Anonymous said...

The end of the conservative movement...and not short enough it was.

lms said...

Wow, you just said it would be OK to limit 1st Amendment rights for conservatives. I just love how liberals are all about free speech until they don't happen to like the speech.

And I'd rather the illegal Mexican immigrants go home. If I'm working for a living and paying for their healthcare under President Obama, you can bet you're gonna hear an uproar.

lms said...

May I ask as well, why is it that Republicans and conservatives give more to charity than Liberals and democrats? It's a trend and it's a fact.

Why? Because liberals just wait for the government check to take care of it.