Skeptics have predicted that a democracy can only survive until a majority of the voters realize they can vote themselves someone elses money. Margret Thatcher said the problem with socialism is that eventually they run out of other people's money. We in the United States are doing both. In the long run such behavior is self destructive, but few people think about the long run. Will our nation as we know it survive? Many political systems lasted much longer than our 200 plus year history and then failed. Will the skeptics prove right?
The Democratic Party strategy has always had a stealth socialist agenda. They recoil at the word socialist, just as they do at the suggestion that the media is biased in their favor, but so does everyone who employs the big lie when trying to deny a self-evident truth. The tag line for their approach to political success is tax and tax, spend and spend (creating a loyal voter base), elect and elect.
The US has moved more slowly towards socialism than Europe, and has had more prosperity as a result. The Senate is the key difference. For example giving Wyoming the same two Senate votes as California (with two percent of the population) has allowed rural voices to be disproportionately loud, and rural people are less dependent on government. In Europe there is no such retardant to this socialistic creep. But beware.. this Senate "equalizer" will not last long. The Democrats have successfully expanded government and infected more and more rural people with their unholy drug of government largess. We are moving smartly.... in the wrong direction.
With the new socialist wish list (aka the stimulus bill) Democrats have once again expanded government, but this time at an unprecedented rate. The number of people with an increased dependency on government is alarming. Bailouts for businesses, longer and bigger benefits for the unemployed, benefits for homeowners, re-instituting welfare (as we used to know it- undermining the success of Clinton's welfare reform), larger subsidies for colleges, more businesses depending on government contracts to survive, political groups supporting a radical Democratic left wing agenda (ACORN for example), etc. have all been funded with staggering amounts of money. Will we ever recover? Once someone has been given something for nothing, it is unlikely that he will ever give it up or vote for meaningful change.
Many big businesses are as guilty as anyone for sucking at the teat of government and gaming the system. GM and the banks are guilty, but at least their actions are the last gasp of dying corporations. They are already the walking dead. But what about a seemingly healthy company like General Electric (GE)?
A book was written separating the Robber Baron's of the 19th and early 20th century into two groups- those that made fortunes by providing a better product at a cheaper price, and those that used government influence to help create and protect their monopolies (Rockefeller and Standard Oil being one). GE clearly falls into the latter group.
CNBC was granted the first interview with the new President, and the on air commentators were joking about how the station had arrived as a prominent force in media. They pondered why the Presidency bestowed such an honor on them. Let's see. NBC, MSNBC and CNBC are all owned by GE. NBC political coverage was so slanted it could only be described as an unpaid Obama advertisement. MSNBC was worse. It was a continuous 24 hour Democratic infomercial. CNBC's political corespondent, John Harwood, is a devoted Democratic supporter. Do you wonder why Obama gave that interview to CNBC?
Any large corporation has to kiss the butt of the political class. Politicians hold vast power, and prudence dictates they had best be catered to. But why does GE have such a vested interest in the Democrats? After all, isn't it the Democrats who tax corporations so onerously, regulate them, impose nonsensical environmental restrictions, labor restrictions, and generally try to control them wherever possible?
One reason might be GE's interest in alternative energy and climate change. GE sees opportunity in alternative energy, and produces equipment to reduce greenhouse gases. The historian Paul Johnson pointed out that climate change is one of the three great frauds of the 20th century (the other two are Marxism and Freudian psychology). All three claim to be based on science, but they are no more scientific than taro card reading. GE understands climate change is a fraud, but they see profits in the scam, and so they are on board. They employ the PR power of their networks, as well as massive lobbying dollars to promote this silliness.
Jeff Immelt (Chairman of GE) was just named as one of Obama's economic advisers. GE also has received TARP money, controls several of the larger medial outlets, and does billions of dollars business with the federal government. Am I the only one who see a conflict here?
I won't speculate exactly why countries drift to the left (contrary to their own interests), but they do. Colonel Augusto Pinochet took over the Communist government of Chile by force in the early 1970s. He threw out the collectivist economic model of his predecessor and implemented a free market model developed by University of Chicago economists called the Chicago Boys. At first a bad economy under the communists became even worse, but within a few years things changed and Chile became the economic miracle of South America. Their GDP skyrocketed, currency stabilized, unemployment went way down, wages went way up, and they even developed a successful system of private retirement accounts, something the rest of the world should be imitating. Economic prosperity usually is accompanied by greater life expectancy, a cleaner environment, and many other improved measures of society. I point this out because in spite of their amazingly successful transition to capitalism, and given the stark contrast with their past economic failure, it makes one wonder why politically they are moving to the left. The false promise of something for nothing (aka government assistance) must be irresistible to too many.
Is this all really hopeless? I can't say. But the battle against socialist Democrats and the GE's of the world is uphill at best. Our republic, our American tradition of rugged individualism, and our uniquely American optimism have served us well. Will they continue to?