San Diego – A couple of posts ago I wrote that the real issue in this upcoming election is about freedom. Here is the unfortunate bottom line: if you want to enjoy the benefits of freedom, then you must endure the hardships and sacrifice of supporting it. We have been the “Land of the Free only — ONLY — because we were also the “Home of the Brave.” But it is looking more and more like that is in dire jeopardy.
I also wrote in that post that the core freedom that supports the others is economic freedom: the freedom to enjoy the fruits of our own labors and the freedom to fail and suffer the consequences if our labor is inadequate to the task. And to do that we need an educated populace that understands not only the concept and cost of freedom int he broad sense, but has the skills to create the productivity that makes the country strong. And, of course, they also must have a vision for the country and its future that is in synch with that a priori concept of freedom.
The problem with this pesky notion of freedom is that it DOES require sacrifice and hardships to be maintained. And there are many in the world who do not wish to participate in those hardships. Oh, they want the benefits, but they want them without sacrifice. THey feel, for whatever reason, that by virtue of being alive they somehow deserve to have those benefits whether or not they have contributed to the creation of them. Therefore they wish for the environment where the government will simply provide them for them and wring the wherewithal for that provision from the labors of those foolish enough to work to provide it.
That provides the perfect opening for politicians, in my opinion evil ones, to create the dependencies so vital for the acquisition and retention of power. In a country where the populace is increasingly lazy and uneducated, terminally unaware of the real and factual history of cultures and civilizations before it was spun by their handlers, greater percentages are embracing the warm and fuzzy ideas of entitlements with little or no clue what those will cost in the end. Short term, bottom line thinking is taking over and a long view, that stretches back in time and forward into the future is increasingly impossible for them to perform.
But, as I have also written, the only way to truly bring about that massive transformation to a socialist-type government of entitled citizens, is to bring the current economy to a state of collapse where economic freedom no longer is even possible. I think it increasingly impossible to escape the conclusion that such a collapse is being carefully and purposefully wrought upon us this very moment.
Even the god of socialist economics, Keynes, declared that the way to bring down a national economy was to debauch the currency, i.e. make it worth less and less and thereby raising the cost of living to an unbearable level. How hard can this be to understand? If our pay scale remains constant but the money we receive is of less value then de facto the price goes higher and higher. If we increase the debt ceiling to let us borrow more money, money that we do not have and that cannot be paid for at the current rate of revenue, then that revenue will have to be increased.
But the government does nothing to earn that money, YOU DO. So it will have to take more and more of yours via taxation. Even the CBO’s figures show that we take in enough to make payments on the debt, fund the military, Social Security, and Medicare at the current rates with a little left over. The only reason that money would not be available for any of those things, despite the Social Security “lock box” Al Gore and the democrats told us was inviolate and would never be effected by budget issues (which was a lie even as he told it), is because of a political decision by the President to spend the money on other things.
If the debt ceiling is raised there is only one reason… to borrow more money because we have already spent all that we are allowed to borrow currently. And that means the deficit will grow larger so then either the ceiling will need to be raised again or new taxes will have to be imposed. And as more of the paycheck is removed through the dual hits of taxation and inflation, the buying power of the citizen drops even further so whatever dollars he or she has left are fewer and worth less while prices are going up. Until we as a nation are willing to do as we insist individuals should do, that is, live within our means, then then we will continue to slide into economic ruin and or subservience to the government. There really is no other option.
But there is another major and contributing player in this and it is the player that could pile on the problems to push our economic pile into critical mass: energy. We may try to deny it but the engine of our culture is energy and, at the moment, fossil fuel-based energy. We think mostly of energy as the fuel for our cars, but fuel is also needed for the transportation that carries goods and foods around the country, for the implements of agriculture, for the materials to make high tech equipment, for virtually every walk of life we enjoy.
At the moment we have plenty of it and gas prices have actually been dropping from an all time high last year. There is no shortage of incoming oil from the Middle East, Mexico, Canada and the dribble of domestic production. The sad fact is we are at the mercy of those other oil producing countries, many of whom have no great love for us. For years we have known we had enough reserves in our own territory to equal and exceed those others but have been prohibited from accessing it by a noisy lobby that would rather see is living in log cabins and lighting by candles, sacrificing all of the progress of the last century for their ideal of the simple life. Not may of them are doing that for themselves but they do want YOU to do it.
Into that state of affairs comes a familiar hand, the hand that wants to raise our already crushing debt, that wants to spend more to create even greater dependencies among the citizenry as a means to create a power base, our dear leader, King Barrack I. In terms of energy issues he has prohibited gulf drilling to all meaningful levels, prohibited domestic drilling, worked against a pipeline that could carry Canadian Natural Gas to our refineries, and now is systematically gutting the Strategic Oil Reserves, at a time when we are NOT in crisis and do not need them.
As with every other promise he has made for his policies, he either failed or lied. He said he was releasing oil to bring down prices but not a single analyst has agreed that was needed or that, in retrospect, the price has adjusted downward because of that release. But now he wants to do more. A bipartisan committee recently sent him an open letter asking about his energy policies and asking he close down and rebuild the reserves. He has apparently refused.
“Why?” is a very good question. Apologists suggest he simply does not know better but his heart is in the right place. I think that conclusion is unsupportable. Whatever else King Barrack I may be, he is not stupid. And that leaves only one remaining conclusion: he knows exactly what he is doing, the danger of it, and is taking these steps in order to facilitate the collapse that will be necessary to transform America into his vision.
One comment on a liberal blog in the Financial Times (one of my sources for how that side is thinking) wrote to denigrate the idea of liberals connected to ideals of socialism, “whatever that might be.” This blogger labeled himself as a California Historian — I’ll even bet he is a college professor. To not know what the tenets of one of the more powerful economic philosophies of the last couple of centuries holds, is to disqualify anyone from commenting on, much less voting for, those who wield powerful economic functions.
For a population increasingly interested in simplistic thinking, it simply does not get much simpler than this. To increase entitlements, to have the government provide more and more security for not just physical attacks but from economic requirements of personal action, requires a price measured in units of freedom.
And the question being put before the voters this coming election, though the monarch’s party is assiduously avoiding any language that would indicate it, is simple as well… are you willing to trade freedom for entitlements? Obviously a lot of people in Europe are. Also obviously, a lot of people in this country are also willing to make that trade. Are you?