Monday, April 18, 2011

Five by Five Reasons to Panic

Here are five reasons why President Obama won't win reelection next year, according to Jeff Reeves.

  1. The Fed and Inflation
  2. Persisting Unemployment
  3. Voters Feeling Poorer
  4. US Debt
  5. Gas Prices

To counter that here is John Hawkins telling us about the five bad things that will happen when America goes bankrupt.

  1. Life savings chopped by inflation
  2. Taxes will skyrocket
  3. Rioting and Violent Crime
  4. Government entitlements will dry up
  5. Reduced standard of living.

What's the difference between these two geniuses? Not much. They are just illuminating the Stations of the Cross, the road to economic Calvary that we are presently on.

The thing to remember about all the brickbats flying around--and I do my share of it--is that when the balloon goes up, it is ordinary paycheck-to-paycheck Americans that will suffer. The politicians? They will do all right, except maybe for a couple that get selected as scapegoats. The bankers and CEOs? Society needs them in fair weather and in foul. The mainstream media? They'll do just fine. The bureaucrats? Every government needs its bureaucrats. They'll still be there after the fall.

It is ordinary Americans that are going to get screwed by the coming tsunami: people with marginal jobs, people without powerful political protection. And it's a shame.

It is this understanding, that the people get screwed, that informs the conservative argument for limited government. Government is force, politics is power, government spending is waste, and government taxes are a theft of the labor of ordinary workers.

The only solution is limited government.

There has to be some government, for sure, but the smaller it is, the less it will waste, the less power that powerful people will have to boss people around, and the less that taxes will cut in on the incomes of ordinary people.

But what about the poor? What about the unfortunate? Conservatives say that the best way to look after the least among us is to remove the yoke of force, to take power politicians out of the social process of helping the helpless. In fact, the more that government does, the less that people do, and the more that social services are socialized the less that people are socialized.

A century ago the liberals told the working class that they were being screwed by the bosses. Give us your votes, they said, and we will give you what you deserve. Fifty years ago the liberals told women that they were being screwed by the patriarchy. Give us your votes, they said, and we will liberate you from male oppression.

Well, now the results are in. Life is great for the upper middle class of liberals. It is not so great for the white working class, where the number of married adults has plummeted from 83 percent to 48 percent in 50 years.

Who cares about that? We will. Because when the government defaults as the two chappies at the top are forecasting, then ordinary people will need their families and their neighbors again. Long before governments started throwing money around on social programs and long after they have stopped it, people dealt with the vicissitudes of life through social institutions, the mediating structures between government and individual like family, church, club, association.

The people that survive the panic will be the people with their own social safety net they will be the ones that scorned and mistrusted the supposed wonders of the government's social safety net.

Unlike the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, which had four lies in its name, the government's social safety net has only three lies. For the government's social safety net is not social, not safe, and not a net.

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