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Are Statism/Socialism Anti-American?

The whole debate about taxes, spending, entitlements, state’s rights and size of government revolves around two basic ideologies: capitalism and socialism.

Woodrow Wilson

 

From the outset, America had been a capitalistic, free enterprise society, but at the beginning of the 20th century progressive ideas came in vogue under Woodrow Wilson, who instituted the federal income tax, the federal reserve act, and tried to create the League of Nations, earning him the Nobel Peace Prize.

 

 

The Great Depression called for extreme measures to get people back to work and along came FDR, expanding government with agencies and departments whose purpose was to create public works, such as dams, roads, bridges etc. Unfortunately, as the depression eased and WWII began, bringing new jobs, government jobs didn’t end, so Washington continued to grow/expand.

FDR’s legacy was bigger government, social security & welfare. When 10% of the population needs help & a temporary safety net to get by, it’s OK. When it’s 15-20%, it’s not temporary and not OK! Social security itself was a good concept, but predicated on false assumptions. Back then life expectancy was barely 65. With retirement age the same, there’d always be a vast number of workers paying for a static pool of retirees. That is, the number of new retirees was basically offset by the number of those dying. Add a growing economy and more workers, and it looked like a perpetual motion machine.

People are living longer today and new retirees are not being offset by those dying, so the number of SSA recipients is rising. Add to that a cyclical economy with peaks & valleys in jobs, as well as an evolving economic condition touted as the new paradigm where a higher unemployment rate persists and the net effect is less & less workers paying for more & more retirees.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt

 

You don’t need to be a statistician/mathematician to understand this isn’t sustainable. Most accept Roosevelt didn’t intend for it to become the mainstay of retirement. It was a supplement, to help people out. Today people rely on it as their main source of income. Depending on who you believe, it will go bust in 20yrs.

 

 

 

Lyndon Johnson

 

In the 60’s came LBJ & his Great Society. The crown jewel was Medicare/Medicaid. He extended many other government programs/entitlements, but health benefits were by far the most ambitious and ultimately, most damaging. Again, he & his planners didn’t envision a time when people would rely 100% on government for their care. He thought they would have their own insurance, use this as a supplement for emergencies, and die sooner.

 

He also wanted to help those who were unable/incapable of providing for themselves, due to age, infirmity or mental incapacity. In those days these were 10% of the population, which could be managed by a growing tax base and fast growing, increasingly benevolent government.

It was a time when most took personal responsibility for their health and old age, bought life & health insurance, counted on family to help out, relied on social security/medicare as supplements, and used their own savings and/or pensions to anchor retirement. This attitude underpinned our capitalistic system and we all understood our role as participants in society. Good planning/financial sacrifice kept us independent in our golden years.

Barack Obama
Now we have Obama, who fundamentally believes a capitalistic society is unfair. Too many miss the boat to success, left on the dock with little wherewithal to fend for themselves. He believes these folks need government for a leg up, beginning with health- care/education, continuing with jobless benefits, easing of disability eligibility & welfare benefits on means-tested individuals who often by choice find themselves in financial difficulty due to recreational lifestyle, unwed parenthood, indolence, etc.

 

Today we hear how half of us pay no tax, 47 million are on food stamps, disability claims are being submitted at the rate of 1000 per day, government doubled its size in 11yrs, people live well into their 80’s, government workers retire at 60 or younger, we borrow 47 cents of every dollar we spend, debt now exceeds GDP and on and on.

It doesn’t take a genius to see we’re off the rails and headed down an economic embankment to catastrophe. Fewer and fewer people simply cannot carry more and more load. It isn’t fair, and it isn’t doable.

It’s time liberals, progressives, statists and socialists who still call themselves Americans stop and measure the real world ramifications of their idealism. America was not founded, built or energized on these ideals. It was born of independence, hard-work and sacrifice. These made it great, and encouraged its benevolence and humanism.

China is on track to take over as the world’s biggest economy in about 15yrs; America is on track to go bankrupt, ending up even worse than Greece. These are the facts. We can’t continue with-out losing our greatness and unique exceptionalism.

We are the best the world has ever known. We’ve given more hope and opportunity to more peoples than any other place or time. We’re a singularity in the family of nations. We burst on a scene of haves/have-nots, eased the world’s wants and paved the way to equity and prosperity for our own and for the world. Do we now to take our leave?

Capitalism, free enterprise, rugged individualism are the basic reasons for our success. Family values, two parent families, re-respect for elders, manners, education, faith & a strong work ethic the core tenets/fundamentals that led us to preeminence.

Idealists must face the reality we were as good as it gets. True, we weren’t perfect. We had room for improvement, but the tamperings I describe above are not minor adjustments or tiny little tweaks here and there. They are major alterations of such impact they change our entire political landscape, moving us toward a socialized state and away from capitalism. You who would be all things to all peoples must understand it cannot be so. It isn’t possible economically, and it isn’t emotionally/psychologically feasible given our human condition and inherent nature.

We must fix social security with older retirement age, less benefits, higher contributions on a higher cap and phased down benefits for the wealthy; fix Medicare with personal responsibility  for self-insuring except in extreme cases for those unable, higher contributions, and limited benefits for the very wealthy; pass a constitutional amendment requiring a balanced budget; pass a constitutional amendment setting the debt ceiling as a maximum percentage of GDP, except in times of national emergency.

Do these things, and the people will get back their confidence, regain their trust in government, and begin to expand their businesses and plan for the future. And our economy will explode!

We must consider these things before it’s too late. Let us pause, take stock, reassess, before slipping into a foreboding darkness, a political emptiness that is a world where there is no United States of America.

 

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I’m Al Shane

Alvan I. Shane Author, The Day Liberty Wept 2270 N Euclid Ave Frequent Op-Ed Contributor Upland, Calif 91784 Political Donor to Cons Grps / Causes (909) 946-5104 Ex-Marine / California native info@shaneview.com Tax Accountant / Mar 43yrs / 1 son
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