Progressives’ Road To Serfdom

If you’re out to transform the country as we know it, you must do two things.  First, you need a distraction. You have to keep distracting people by going from one crisis to the next, drawing your focus to the crisis, instead of what’s really going on. And with the mainstream media all wrapped up in the soap opera meme of politics, you can bet that they will bring each one to you. The media of today is not the watchdog they once were. The ‘watchdog’ has been replaced by a lap dog. They follow the administrations’s (Valerie Jarrett’s) script.

The other thing you have to do is take what is right and make it wrong. Up is down, left is right, and good is bad. And when you just don’t like America as it is and was founded, before you can slide into socialism and the fascist economic model, you first have to erase 200 years of free-market capitalism from America’s collective memory.

A fascinating editorial in Forbes by Harry Binswanger, shows us how President Obama attempts to make capitalism bad, and collectivism good. Basically by lying about both. First of all, because of government intervention in just about every industry that creates economic activity, i.e.. prosperity, there is very little room left for a free-market to be free. There are proper regulations, and there are oppressive and unnecessary regulations. It is the latter that tampers with free markets, creating anomalies to how they would otherwise behave. And this is the example that Obama uses to make capitalism wrong and socialism right.

In a speech in Kansas, calling for more government controls, more taxation, more collectivism, President Obama has two paragraphs that give the show away. Take a look at them.

there is a certain crowd in Washington who, for the last few decades, have said, let’s respond to this economic challenge with the same old tune. “The market will take care of everything,” they tell us. If we just cut more regulations and cut more taxes–especially for the wealthy–our economy will grow stronger. Sure, they say, there will be winners and losers. But if the winners do really well, then jobs and prosperity will eventually trickle down to everybody else. And, they argue, even if prosperity doesn’t trickle down, well, that’s the price of liberty.

Now, it’s a simple theory. And we have to admit, it’s one that speaks to our rugged individualism and our healthy skepticism of too much government. That’s in America’s DNA. And that theory fits well on a bumper sticker. (Laughter.) But here’s the problem: It doesn’t work. It has never worked. (Applause.) It didn’t work when it was tried in the decade before the Great Depression. It’s not what led to the incredible postwar booms of the ’50s and ’60s. And it didn’t work when we tried it during the last decade. (Applause.) I mean, understand, it’s not as if we haven’t tried this theory.

It’s “never worked?” That’s his story and he’s sticking to it. I guess our form of socialism and communism just worked better than China, the former Soviet Union, Russia, and Venezuela’s version. Because our people (for now) are more free and better off than any other country in the world.  But I digress. Harry Bingswanger re-writes those two paragraphs in terms of reality and viola, the emperor has no clothes.

Essentially, Obama is saying: “Look, we tried leaving you free to live your own life, and that didn’t work. You have to be forced, you have to have your earnings seized by the state, you have to work under our directions–under penalty of fines or imprisonment. You don’t deserve to be free.”

Binswanger continues . . .

Putting the issue as force vs. freedom shows how the shoe is on the other foot regarding what Obama said. Let me re-write it:

there is a certain crowd in Washington who, for the last few decades, have said, let’s respond to this economic challenge with the same old tune. “The government will take care of everything,” they tell us. If we just pile on even more regulations and raise taxes–especially on the wealthy–our economy will grow stronger. Sure, they say, there will be winners and losers. But if the losers are protected by more social programs and a higher minimum wage, if there is more Quantitative Easing by the Fed, then jobs and prosperity will eventually trickle up to everybody else. And, they argue, even if prosperity doesn’t trickle up, well, that’s the price of the social safety net.

Now, it’s a simple theory. And we have to admit, it’s one that speaks to our intellectuals’ collectivism and Paul Krugman’s skepticism about freedom. That’s in Harvard’s DNA. And that theory fits well on a bumper sticker. (Laughter.) But here’s the problem: It doesn’t work. It has never worked. (Applause.) It didn’t work when it was tried in the Soviet Union. It’s not what led to the incredible booms in India and China. And it didn’t work when Europe tried it during over the last decades. (Applause.) I mean, understand, it’s not as if we haven’t tried this statist theory.

He concludes:

How does that sound? That’s blaming an actual, existing condition–government controls and wealth-expropriation–not a condition that ended in the late 19th century.

Link: Obama To Americans: You Don’t Deserve To Be Free

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