We can continue to piddle at the cusp of our problems in America, or we can begin facing our problems, identifying them for what they are, and then find solutions. The progressives are still hammering away at the narrative that the state is necessary to correct past injustices, and that the only way to do this is to transform capitalism into some form of socialization and central planning. There are those who look at government intervention then say that without intervention certain things wouldn't have happened: education, post office, roads, strong middle class, assistance for the poor, Medicare, Medicaide, food stamps, unemployment insurance, technology research, dams for energy, infrastructure of all sorts, public transit, safety, environmental protection, Social Security, de-segregation, women's rights, civil rights, building standards, food and drug standards, consumer protection of all sorts, financial regulations, on and on and on.
It's almost a hopeless case because we have given government so much power to control these areas of concern, that all people can see is what has happened due to government intervention. It would take a genius imagination to go back to the beginning and imagine other routes to the same results, or much better results. You would have to assess the effectiveness of all the areas of government intervention, then build a fictional alternative -- "fictional", because in most of these areas of concern the private sector was never allowed to, or never forced to, deal with the problems.
This would be a herculean task, although many libertarian writers have shown how some alternatives would work -- writers such as Rothbard and Friedman. But to address all government interventions would be a lifetime task, and even then people would have a difficult time understanding the alternative vision, because they are trained from childhood to accept government intervention as vital. Another herculean task is the one presented to libertarian-leaning policy makers who promote privatization for this or that -- for every area of concern which would be better off privatized, there are thousands of bureacrats dependent on a government program connected to the concern, politicians who are trying to save their power-base, and perhaps millions of dependent citizens who are afraid of change and don't want to risk losing something the government has provided.
I have no idea how government can ever be limited as it should be limited short of a collapse and rude national awakening. Our government is presently driving the country to financial disaster, and we can no loger pretend it's not an all-out attack on the free market -- between the energy efforts and healthcare reform we're talking long term, permanent costs, not just one or two time bailouts or a stimulus package here and there. Plus, with the attack on free enterprise, unemployment is likely to be high for a long time, costing us much more in benefits to support the out-of-work, with permanent unemployment rising. Safety net costs will go through the roof. It also appears we're politically stuck in two wars which will require long-term maintenance.
Baby boomers are retiring, so SS and Medicare will sink even further in the bog of unfunded liabilities. With government regulating the financial industry into stupor, lenders are going to be skittish and very conservative. Capitalism is being strangled and government spending is rising at record levels. This can't be sustained, and if government tries to soak the rich, money will flee even faster. The big question is -- Who is going to pay for all this? More and more young people are leaving high school with no marketable skills, barely able to read and write. It's incredible that small and medium size businesses are not organizing people to take to the streets -- but, so far, I don't hear any loud reaction.
I'm afraid people are stunned and hoping it will all go away, but from all the evidence it's only getting worse. More and more people are becoming dependent on government assistance and this is not good. We need another revolution, but most intelligent people are capitulating to power, playing the political game and burying their heads in the sand. A nation full of competent men and women, and we're being led by a handful of new age techno-fascists. The only ray of hope has been the Tea Party movement but it should be quadruple its size. This is no time for a replay of intellectuals slobbering over Stalin -- and, no, I'm not comparing Obama to Stalin, just weak intellectuals to weak intellectuals.
We're in a period where ordinary people are protesting, doing something they've never done before, participating in politics as free people should, and the intellectuals are trying to ridicule them into silence. Anyone who chooses the corrupt status quo of state power over people who want to limit the size of an over-reaching government are complicit in the destruction of liberty -- the media, Hollywood, representatives, big corporations, academics, unions, and every man and women who remains silent because they are afraid of losing some bauble from the gift-givers in D.C., they are all complicit.
Big corporations are hiding from competition behind the skirt of the state, comfortable in their international business, unconcerned with the damage done to the American economy, but when government gets desparate for money they will drain these sorry rent-seekers like hogs on a hook at the slaughter-house.
Just look at how Pelosi and Obama have strong-armed the insurance industry and shackled the finance industry, plus what they are in the process of doing with the auto-industry. Whatever company gets in their sights will be at risk. But, these companies asked for it -- when you make a deal with the devil you have to read the fine print.
The problem now is that it's doubtful we can stop this. One thing is for sure -- docility, capitulation and compromise will not help matters.