Thomas Friedman, David Brooks and Mike Murphy all agreed this morning On David Gregory's Meet the Press that we need to follow China's lead and develop a grand national economic plan for the future. The left and many moderates are changing direction now that the political means to make sweeping social changes have failed. Social justice is being put on hold, or disguised, while the State attempts to co-opt the economic direction of the country. The midterm elections signaled that the public doesn't want sweeping and costly social legislation -- it wants economic growth, lower taxes and job opportunites.
Obama and the left framed the sweeping healthcare legislation as, in large part, an economic strategy to lower the nation's healthcare costs and take the financial burden off of American companies, but this con job was soon uncovered, revealing the healthcare bill as social legislation related to social justice, which will in reality add to the nation's healthcare costs. Healthcare and proposals for more sweeping social legislation were all acknowledged by the public as progressive schemes to promote social jusice, and they were rejected.
Now, the statists have changed strategies to give the impression they are on top of the economic problems. What Friedman and Brooks and other statists of different stripes are now pushing for is the State to manage a grand economic plan to compete with China and India and other rising economic powers who practice "State capitalism". The proposed statist plan, bandied about earlier, but now in earnest, is to "invest" in infrastructure and to subsidize windmills, solar panels and other sources of alternative energy. They want the State to tax carbon emission and anything else they believe relates to the old capitalist system in order to raise the money necessary to invest in a new economic nationalism. They believe that if Americans believe that our government is spending money for the future, better jobs and better education, then people will sacrifice in an act of patriotism to move our nation forward competitively in the global market.
Expect President Obama in his State of the Union address to call even louder for this economic nationalism, and a huge "investment" in infrastructure, green jobs and economic growth. This is another con job similar to the heathcare bill. What the left wants to do is to destroy the free market, to the limited extent we've known one, once and for all. The left is okay with State capitalism, because the key word is State. Through an empowered government and its eager technocrats, the State will gain complete control over the economy. This plan of economc nationalism is no different than the statism which has been going on for decades, it's just dressed up once again in economic garb and patriotism. The left is acknowledging that Americans want a return to economic growth and good jobs, so the State will put on a show of patriotic zeal to guide America into the 21st global economy with a concerted effort to bring excellence to public education, vision to American economic direction and prosperity to the American worker. We will be asked to sacrifice for a cause greater than any one of us, to rebuild a crumbling infrastructure and set the path for a green and sustainable future which entails economic justice, strong communities and a revived spirit of American accomplishment -- not individual enrichment where a few succeed and many are left behind, but a national effort to bring everyone into economic prosperity. The State working hand in hand with the American people can do this! The rhetoric will soar.
If we fall for this, free market principles will be defeated -- this time for good, or, at least, until the nation collapses under the burden of State.