Friday, January 16, 2009

Alarmism in Support of Perpetual Dependence

Paul Revere's Midnight Ride was not a journey to alert his countrymen that the British were coming in order that they might as a group surrender their freedom in an orderly manner. He risked his life to forewarn like- minded individuals of the advancing British Army and the tyranny they sought to impose. The alarm he sounded was meant to awaken the spirit of rugged individualism, so that free men could rally to defend themselves from those who would deny them their liberty.

It stands in stark contrast to the unending alarms sounded by today's leaders who rally us for reasons that are very different from those of securing our Individual Liberties.They rouse people to the cause of the collective. They ask us to forgo our own self interest in order to advance their agenda of the group. This is very definition of collectivism, see below!

"Collectivism is defined as the theory and practice that makes some sort of group rather than the individual the fundamental unit of political, social, and economic concern. In theory, collectivists insist that the claims of groups, associations, or the state must normally supersede the claims of individuals." -- Stephen Grabill and Gregory M. A. Gronbacher

Their pursuit is for more power and control of the individual. They are practiced in the art of elevating every problem to crisis proportion as a first step in chipping away at what remains of our hard won rights as individuals. The issues they claim as crisis aren't. They can't be, for the duration of a real crisis is not measured in years, decades and generations but in days, weeks and perhaps months. A true crisis, by definition, is one whose impact would be so devastating that "time is of the essence" in dealing with it successfully. I seem to be hearing that phrase more often these days.

That today's problems go unresolved is confirmation that our political leaders, who are very cognizant of their own self interest, are too beholden to the special interest groups they serve to address their real cause. Many of these problems are the result of government dictates and their unintended consequences. Government solutions have a nasty tendency to ultimately cause more of the problem they were intended to resolve.

Social Security is one example of a phony "crisis" that goes unresolved. Politicians can't fix it because they won't address the real cause of the problem. That's right, it's a problem, not a crisis. It's been a problem way too long to be considered a crisis. It's a simple problem of math. Too few employees pay too many retirees. Taking too much from too few to pay too many can't work. The real solution is to make fewer and fewer people dependent upon Social Security for their main source of retirement income. The ever increasing Social Security taxes borne by the employee and employer ensures that employees cannot adequately save, and employers can't offer additional funding of employer sponsored retirement plans, thus perpetuating the government's retirement dependency machine. The real solution is to reform Social Security, but it has a large and very well organized constituency that lobbies viciously to protect the rights of the members of the group.

Another example of alarmism is the now popular sport of magnifying the current economic downturn, and likening it to the Great Depression. Factually it's not true, as is proved by just about every statistical measure you can examine. Here are a number of comparisons you might want to have a look at. It is nothing more than a cynical ploy of the political class to create fear, as a way to garner support for legislation funding the very programs and projects of special interest groups that were not deemed worthy of taxpayers dollars before the recession began. Creating an atmosphere of anxiety, and then promising goodies for all the right groups is the new American Way. The key to it's success is to ingratiate the maximum number of special interest groups, by offering them all a chance to dip their beak in the Stimulus Trough. This is the reason the Stimulus Program needs to be so large. They are even offering goodies to the opposition in the form of rebates and credits dressed up as real tax cuts.

As more and more people scramble aboard the wagon of government dependency, it leaves fewer and fewer of us to pull the load. Group rights and dependence on government handouts are not what have made this nation great. Individual Liberty and freedom, along with a free market through which we are able to act in our own self interest, is responsible for the prosperity we have come to know. A prosperity that would not have been possible without the individual liberties and freedom provided for us long ago by the founding fathers of our country, who fought and died to secure them.