It’s a tough time for lovers of freedom. Barack Obama’s reelection was a clear sign that we are going to continue on “the road to serfdom.” Over the last century or so, government has been continually encroaching on our liberty by slowly but consistently increasing taxes and government spending, as well as issuing laws and regulations specifying what we must or must not do in ever greater detail.
Governments get bigger over time.
There is a distinct tendency for governments to grow over time. Political dynamics almost guarantee it. For example, as a politician, try to cut spending on something. Anything. You are guaranteed to be criticized for it. Cut spending on education? You’re “weak” on education. Cut spending on defense? You’re “weak” on defense. And so on. However, if you “invest” more in education, then give yourself a big pat on the back. Notice that politicians never “spend” our money. Instead, they always “invest” it (which is politician-speak for “ squander it with nothing to show for it”) .
Big Government causes major problems.
This tendency towards Big Government is a huge problem. First of all, there is a clear correlation between “economic freedom” and prosperity. Take a look at various indices of economic freedom, and you can see that the freest countries are also the most prosperous. Big Government is like an anchor on the economy and inevitably leads to stagnation.
Secondly, Big Government invariably puts a huge strain on government finances. Government spending is politically popular, and taxes are politically unpopular. This creates huge political incentives to run deficits. Politicians never promise you deficits though. They just promise you tax cuts and more government benefits. The inevitable result is continual deficits and the accumulation of debt until there is a fiscal meltdown (see Greece).
The writing is on the wall. Our government policies are definitely taking us in the direction of a complete economic collapse. Democrats, emboldened by Obama’s election victory, are continuing their adamant opposition to cutting entitlements, despite the fiscal tidal wave that it is coming our way. They don’t care about the math. Republicans don’t seem to be competent enough to stop Democrats from destroying the economy. But I’m not giving up.
Nothing is over until we decide it is!
I love liberty, prosperity, and my life far too much to just give up. Sometimes when I want to give up, I think of John Belushi’s character Bluto from the classic movie Animal House. In one scene, his fraternity was about to get expelled, and they were sitting around all dejected. Bluto rose to the occasion and inspired them into action.
Bluto: Hey! What’s this lying around shit?!
Stork: Well, what the hell we s’posed to do, you moron?!
D-Day: War’s over, man. Wormer dropped the big one.
Bluto: What? Over? Did you say “over”? Nothing is over until we decide it is! Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? Hell no!
Boon: Forget it. He’s rolling.
Bluto: And it ain’t over now. ’Cause when the goin’ gets tough… the tough get goin’! Who’s with me? Let’s go! C’mon! [He runs out of the room screaming but then returns.]
Some men you just can’t reach.
If it’s one thing that I have learned over the years, it’s the fact that there is a large segment of the population that simply can NOT be persuaded through facts and reasoning. It’s incredibly frustrating. For whatever reason, they refuse to acknowledge reality and refuse to use simple reasoning. In fact, you can lay out the evidence in a way that makes it crystal clear that they are wrong, but they seem to double down on their erroneous viewpoint. This is rather unfortunate, but there isn’t much we can do about it. Emotions quite often override reason.
“What we’ve got here is failure to communicate. Some men you just can’t reach. So you get what we had here last week, which is the way he wants it. Well, he gets it. I don’t like it anymore than you men.”
– Captain (Cool Hand Luke)
I think that there are a lot of people out there that are intelligent, but ignorant. In other words, if they knew the truth, they would be convinced, but they just don’t know what the truth is. These are the people that we must reach.
“We never make assertions, Miss Taggart,” said Hugh Akston. “That is the moral crime peculiar to our enemies. We do not tell — we show. We do not claim — we prove. It is not your obedience that we seek to win, but your rational conviction. You have seen all the elements of our secret. The conclusion is now yours to draw — we can help you to name it, but not to accept it — the sight, the knowledge and the acceptance, must be yours.”
– Ayn Rand (Atlas Shrugged)
If you love freedom and prosperity as much as I do, then I urge you not to give up. Try to reach those who can be reached with facts and reasoning. Don’t argue with those who can’t. It won’t accomplish anything.
In the words of Bluto, let’s do it!!!