The Marxist Left: Turning America Upside Down (IV)
Institutions centralizing control over the economy were established in the “progressive era” that could later be employed by radicals to move the country in the direction of socialist revolution. The two most important are torn from the pages of the Communist Manifesto: a progressive income tax and a central bank dispensing fiat currency. The former would penalize those seeking to ascend into the upper class; the latter would devalue the currency nearly a hundred times over since it was founded.
This arrangement would help finance a system of incessantly expanding government and affiliated bureaucracy, which would eventually turn the American economy upside down.
If we take a quick and dirty look at the employment picture, fewer Americans are doing real work, and more are getting paid to do non-work or pseudo-work. This is making the Democrat Party very popular indeed.
Actual goods-producers are now around 18 million workers in a total private labor force of 119 million, meaning a 6-to-1 goods-to-services ratio (it was 2.2-to-1 in 1970). The number of government workers is around 22 million (and make double the average salary of their private sector counterparts). This political class is not only predatory on they producers, but they actually tax them, regulate them, and essentially harass them.
Education and health services, important parts of the economy that help the other industries become more productive, but whose workers are ultimately non-producers, stands at 3.2 million. Despite being paid generously, when one considers the benefits, many teachers fail to even inculcate the basics of math, science and reading with our children. The public schools’ track record of failure is then used to inspire taxpayers to give even more to education every year. And under Obamacare, health services will become a coercive arm of the government.
Environmentalism has developed into a rationale to regulate all aspects of the productive economy, and most heavily, the energy production sector. Preventing the building of nuclear power plants, oil refineries, offshore drilling platforms, pipelines, coal burning plants, and the like, all the while shrieking about “green energy” is leading to exorbitant energy prices. This, from the party that postures as a champion for “the little guy.”
Consequentially, our economy is becoming less of one where we actually make stuff and do stuff, but where we simply dream up stuff. This is unsurprisingly causing numerous a host of negative consequences, which our left-controlled media attempt to paper over in the meantime.
So what about the left’s argument that it’s “the rich” that is actually causing all the problems with its wanton “greed”? Let’s deconstruct this argument a bit.
It has been well-documented that the richest 10% of people pay 70% of the taxes. How much do “the rich” therefore really control the government? Or more accurately, is it safer to say that the government controls the rich, extorts them, and arm-twists them?
What about the bailouts and stimulus? The rich did not give themselves the bailouts, politicians did. And tellingly, the same party that voted for the bailouts and stimulus, the Democrat Party, now vehemently rails against Wall Street and the “one percent.” (Similar to the way the Democrats authorized Bush to go to war, twice, and then pretended to have no part in leading us into those “overseas contingency actions.”) This behavior is consistent with the Leninist maxim: sell the capitalists the rope they will be hung with.
And the stimulus package? The stimulus turned out to be a slush fund for pet Democrat causes that had almost no impact on the economy at large.
When the bottom 50% pay zero in federal income taxes, how much do the corporations really control the government? Isn’t it safer to say that under our “democracy,” the government is actually controlling the corporations, seeing as we have the second-highest corporate tax rate in the world? And should we be surprised when corporations start to flee, as we have dropped recently to eighth on the Economic Freedom Index?
Is it any surprise that in a climate increasingly hostile to business, that there are so many unemployed? So many giving up on finding work? So many on welfare, including over 46 million on food stamps? And so much unsustainable debt, including national debt now over a year’s worth of GDP at fifteen trillion dollars and growing? Privately held consumer debt of over 2.5 trillion? Student loan debt of over a trillion? Millions of people unable to pay their mortgages….Of course people are going to be angry, and many will blame our “capitalist” system, whose institutional foundations were destroyed nearly a century ago.
What we are seeing in this country is the intentional destruction of the American dream. The country used to be the envy of the world, drawing millions to our shores at the beginning of the twentieth century, when the government spent less than 8% of GDP on all its functions combined. A hundred years later, the dominant Democrat Party has become a coalition of three groups: dependents (which it tries to import by the millions through illegal immigration), government and public sector workers (grossly overpaid, as mentioned earlier), and unions (which receive government contracts via failed “stimulus” programs). In order to pay these constituents, the Democrat Party must exploit producers and penalize creators. And why should people be surprised at the notion that the Democrat Party seeks to expand its power base by growing government, increasingly exploiting producers, and aggressively expanding dependents (such as offering awards to states to sign up food stamp recipients)?
Now, people are increasingly beginning to flee the country, as socialists are doing to America what they do everywhere else they are given free reign: turning it into a place to run from. The nation is steadily and unhaltingly moving away from the American dream towards a freeloader’s paradise. The ultimate result, as astute observers have seen time and time again through history, and anyone can currently observe in Europe, is an economy of nearly inescapable poverty and unavoidable corruption.
If we want to return this country to its foundational roots, we need to rejuvenate what Tocqueville termed our “mores” and restore our Constitutional system of laws. Otherwise, American exceptionalism will become a term of nostalgia, something we tell our uncomprehending children about in an age of decadence and decline.