After the last presidential election, I wrote a blog entry stating my point of view. It got me many, many more emailed comments (favoring what I said) off-line than in the blog responses. Privately, these people were afraid to publicly state what they thought of my post, which you can review here:
We are only in the beginning stages of "fundamental change." We see where it will lead. At this point, with little of the total, planned agenda having been implemented, The Heritage Foundation has determined that younger people and today's newborns are each individually saddled with $175,000 in new Federal taxes over and above current obligations. And someone born just a few years from now will be similarly plagued, but to the tune of $384,000. That is a taxing prospect.
This is only the beginning. Taken further, after the many other things this administration wants to do -- Cap and Trade (better put "Cap and Tax"), planned regulations, forcing "green" business practices, business take-overs and bailouts, production limits and "standards," health "care," (read that: non-care), and the list goes on -- Heritage estimates individual obligations will be well over $1 million. And that does NOT include servicing the debt.
Today 40 cents is taken from every $1 produced just to service our economy's current debt - BEFORE that $1 even hits the economy. This percentage will increase and is unsustainable. And, again, this $.40 is servicing this debt BEFORE the rest of the current administration's "plans" take form.
Recently I received this cartoon from my brother:
This is a political cartoon published in the Chicago Tribune in 1934. It was in response to Roosevelt's "stimulus" plan during the depression. I remembered seeing it in a text book when I was studying economics in college. You would NEVER see this in a current text book as it would be considered fractious, seditious and subversive! Read it carefully. You see the guy in the middle, Ickes? He was the Roosevelt Interior Secretary for 13 years and economic adviser. He is the father of our very own Harold M. Ickes, Clinton's so-called "Garbage Man," and current Democrat economic policy activist. What goes around comes around!
We learn from history that we learn nothing from history.
Our population has been so dumbed down as to historical records and precedents, particularly economic history, they are lulled by empty words into thinking that this is the first time something like the current "stimulus" plan has been put forth! Oh, AND THAT IT WILL WORK!!
It did not work then, and it will not work now. Roosevelt's secretary of the Treasury, Henry Morgenthau, Jr., said, "We have tried spending money. We are spending more than we have ever spent before and it does not work... We have never made good on our promises... I say after eight years of this Administration we have just as much unemployment as when we started... and an enormous debt to boot! All this money and we don't have a damned thing to show for it!" That was said in 1938 - after 8 years of "stimulus" - unemployment was 19%.
Roosevelt's "ill-conceived stimulus policies" are said to have prolonged the Great Depression by seven years.* Economists have concluded that the depression should have ended in 1936 instead of waiting for a war to pull the economy out in 1943.
And - in our time - we have only just begun!!
Why am I worried about this? Because I am a home inspector. My business is VERY economy/market oriented. This is what I fear -- Inflation is just now beginning to hit. I do the shopping in my family and I have noticed. Have you? Inflation has no choice but to rear its society-killing head. Money is being printed with wild abandon. We are already on inflation's path. You will see business inventories go up, in anticipation of inflation, buying now at lower prices so these products can be sold later at higher prices. This will be followed by interest rate increases, gradual, but insistent. Businesses will have no choice but to lay off more and more employees or face dissolution. They might face dissolution anyway. This will stultify everything from lending and borrowing, to credit, to production, to consumer spending, to -- well, you name it. Do you think people will be buying houses?
I hope sincerely that I am wrong. Do I feel I am sticking my neck out by publishing this? No. Economic principles are economic principles - they are fundamental and do not change. And I fear the writing is on the wall.
Everybody should be required to read Friedrich Hayek's Road to Serfdom. If you do not want to, at least read a summary here (not a bad one!): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Road_to_Serfdom. He says,
"Socialism was to bring 'economic freedom,' without which political freedom was 'not worth having.' To make this argument sound plausible, the word 'freedom' was subjected to a subtle change in meaning. The word had formerly meant freedom from coercion, from the arbitrary power of other men. Now it was made to mean freedom from necessity, release from the compulsion of the circumstances which inevitably limit the range of choice of all of us. Freedom in this sense is, of course, merely another name for power or wealth. The demand for the new freedom was thus only another name for the old demand for a redistribution of wealth."
Sounds like a certain presidential candidate who said to Joe the Plumber, "We just want to spread the wealth around a little." Unfortunately that candidate is still around.
If there is any group of people who can bounce back, if not combat and defeat, unsound economic policies, it is the American people. We are inventive, self-reliant, untiring and tough when it comes to doing things in a new or productive way. When we wake up, and to this new economic threat I hope we do soon, we wake up big and ready for action! Let's hope we act forcefully at this crucial moment in time!!
LET'S LEARN FROM HISTORY, RECENT HISTORY, WAKE UP AND ACT FORCEFULLY BEFORE IT IS TOO LATE! LET'S ACT LIKE AMERICANS AND GO FOR IT!
* UCLA economists Harold Cole and Lee Ohanian, "New Deal Policies and the Persistence of the Great Depression: A General Equilibrium Analysis," Journal of Political Economy 112.4 (Aug. 2004), 779-816. Also, Meg Sullivan, "FDR's Policies Prolonged the Depression by 7 Years, UCLA Economists Calculate," UCLA News, Aug 10, 2004.