Articles

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

A New Deal for America

The New Deal's bargain was that Americans would trade higher taxes and less economic freedom for a social safety net. That was until the left decided that the social safety net was actually a wealth redistribution platform. The social safety net slid into the welfare state, a program of subsidies for reliable Democratic voters at the expense of the general public.

Now the Social Security Trust Fund has been looted and FDR II is threatening that benefits won't be paid if congress doesn't commit to another extended deficit spending binge. Not on behalf of the social safety net, but the nanny and the welfare state.

The Democratic party loves taking credit for the social safety net, but they have proven to be completely irresponsible trustees, squandering the trust by borrowing against the sum, and then borrowing against the debt to fund an entirely separate agenda. What began as security for workers mutated into a bureaucracy that existed for its own sake expanding benefits and spending to bulk up its power and influence.

The old worker centered universe was turned upside down. Private sector unions gave way to public sector unions. A non-union public was suddenly forced to subsidize the municipal crony unions of Democratic politicians. Corporate health insurance became mandatory. Illegal aliens showed up for the free health insurance. And the taxpayer kept picking up the tab. Now the system is on the brink, and the trustees have no answer except more spending and a few cuts.

The New Deal had always been rotten with wealth redistribution calculations, but it wasn't unfeasible until fiscal responsibility went completely out the window. The Potemkin Village economics had been there in the 1930's, the unconstitutional mandates, the overreaching regulations and the share the wealth platform. But they had at least used a nation with a solid industrial base and birth rate as their base. Both of those have been sinking for decades, even as spending has been growing.

The Harvard plan has been to outgrow our deficits with more college degrees and high tech, but that covers no more than a fraction of the country. We are still up to our ears in it, but while the blueprints may be drawn up at MIT, the manufacturing happens in Shanghai. We have become the designers and the consumers of Chinese industry.

The latest twist is Green Tech and Green Jobs, industries subsidized by the government to make products whose purchase is mandatory. But the right color isn't green, it's red. These centrally planned economic shenanigans have been tried and failed. And there's no possible way for the government to recoup more revenue from subsidized industries with no native demand, than it puts into them.

Immigration with its InstaBenefits package suffers from the same problem. Bringing unskilled workers to a country with high unemployment is like shipping coals to a burning building. But those are the kind of workers that the Democratic political machine and corporations love best. Cheap labor that comes at a high price in social safety net costs. Combine that with a low local birth rate and a high foreign birth rate and the end looms for states like California.

The current debt crisis exists because spending parted ways with revenues. Money was spent because it existed. And more money was always needed. Spending became the chief function of government. Deficits and debt sank what was the left of the economy into a quagmire. And no one is able to part ways with the trillion dollar budgets. They have become a fact of life.

Where does that leave us? In need of a New Deal. Or a New New Deal that will transfer wealth away from the government and back to the people.

The government has proven that it cannot be entrusted with maintaining a social safety net. And instead its functionaries are obsessed with the concentration of wealth and power in their own hands. It's time to take the money out of their hands and put it back into the hands of the people.

A New Deal for America will take on the concentration of wealth and power in the hands of all levels of government. It will restrain the power of legislators to spend, the ability of public sector unions to hold populations hostage and end the welfare state.

The experiment of empowering government to promote the public welfare has failed. Instead it has turned government into a booming business and the chief industry of the nation. The new big business isn't railroads or mining, it's government bureaucracy. And there's always more demand for it on the part of the bureaucrats.

A nation that has been reduced to an industry of bureaucrats cannot sustain itself. When the middle-man in a transaction drives away both the buyer and the seller, whatever business he is in trouble. A New Deal will push back against the bureaucrats consuming the substance of the nation and fight back against the political fat cats whose subsidies have become the new monopoly.

The new monopoly is not Standard Oil, it's Standard Government. We are no longer in danger of being monopolized by plutocrats, but by government kleptocrats who rig the marketplace for their own purposes. As a result the real monopoly now rests in the red hands of the People's Republic of China. The only way to reverse that is by breaking up the monopoly of government on every aspect of life.

The New Deal demands a limited sphere of legitimate authority for government, not the nearly unlimited one it enjoys at the present. That means breaking up its monopoly of power over many areas and restoring a lawful government which follows the lamp of necessity, not the blazing torch of arrogant power that it now ruthlessly grips.

Lowering taxes will force government and its camp followers to share the wealth with those who earn and produce it. Reducing their regulatory powers will prevent them from perpetuating the crony capitalism that has turned lobbying into such a prominent profession.

There is no reason why the hard work of the American people should be funneled back and forth between politicians, allied companies, unions, non-profits and the rest of the gang. No reason why an American should pay a politician, then his union crony and his corporate lobbyist, so the politician can divide his money between the two of them, and the lobbyist's corporation can pay the union and the politician, and the union can pay the politician.

The wealth of a nation is being passed under the table by a political establishment that has become an oligarchy dressed up in social welfare colors. It's time for this corruption to end. It is the people, not the politicians, lobbyists or union thugs who have the right to enjoy the fruits of their labor. No more should millions in public money be traded under the table for tens of thousands in political contributions. A New Deal must be a fair deal, restoring the product of their labor to those who produce it, not those who lobby for it.

It is not enough for government to share its wealth with the squeakiest wheels, it must give it up. All of it. A nation of unemployed does not need an ever growing bureaucracy on their backs. It cannot afford it. And the events in Wisconsin demonstrate the threat that the power of such a constituency poses to the rights and freedoms of the people. The threat it poses to democracy.

The oligarchy has robbed the social safety net it set up, it has indebted the nation, and worst of all its squandered its wealth to feather its nests, enrich its cronies and enthrone its power. This cannot and must not be allowed to go on. A New Deal for America begins with the end of the old deal. The end of a government monopoly and the restoration of the rights of the people over the bureaucracy and the oligarchy that controls it. The New Deal is over. Let a New New Deal begin.

13 comments:

Lemon said...

The problem is career politicians in both parties love living off the government. The bigger the government the bigger their perks and paychecks.
Having banished manufacturing from our shores we have few jobs left that are not highly specialized.
We need term limits badly. But I don't expect the hirelings in Washington to vote themselves out of "careers".
We need to make it attractive to begin a business in the US and very expensive to run it off shore, very expensive to out source.
We need an end to the mega regulations that make manufacturing and business too hard to maintain, too.

But again our politicians have found themselves a gravy train and they don't want to let go.

Broadwood said...

A new new deal is indeed what we need! The old left/right distinctions are becoming increasingly irrelevant as both ends of the political spectrum increasingly seek to maximise control of power and wealth and erode freedoms for individuals one way or the other. Old-fashioned small-state light-touch conservatism has been eviscerated by corporate greed and traditional democracy torpedoed by political corruption.

Daniel, I would be interested in your comments on this article from the Telegraph in the wake of the Murdoch debacle - http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/8655106/Im-starting-to-think-that-the-Left-might-actually-be-right.html.

Where, indeed, do we go from here?

Daniel Greenfield @ the Sultan Knish blog said...

the article is rather foolish really and a case of the telegraph gleefully leaping onto its old Murdoch vendetta

is the free market corruptible, can it buy influence and create a rigged system? Obviously

it's always been that way

the error is in believing that the answer is to allow the left to create an even more rigged and corrupt system in answer to it

human institutions are corruptible, the bigger the institution, the more corruptible it is

this incidentally is why I am a strong supporter of direct democracy

Scott May said...

Well written...I could only hope it is widely read, and understood. ^5

Sue said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sue said...

Daniel, As usual this is an excellent commentary. I have read hundreds of conservative blogs and online mags today on this whole Boehner deal. There was a glimmer of hope when they were working on the Cut, Cap and Balance Act, but it degenerated into the ludicrous plan being offered now. I was appalled to read that Boehner told many of the conservative freshman to "get their asses in line" in support of the bill. That's exactly the sort of demogoguery that we hear from the WH!

Add to your article the fact that Washington uses Baseline Bugeting(definition here: http://tinyurl.com/3rzhtgn) and I can't see how on earth we can bring the "New Deal" to the nation, save bombing the whole thing and starting over.

I remember your wonderful thesis about the liberal apocalypse, which clearly defined the mess we're in, but knowing what the problems are, doesn't empower us to transform a darn thing. We're locked in and I have yet to see any solution for the entrenched,
power gluttons in Washington.

I had some hope with the new batch of conservatives from the last election. But today we witnessed them, one after the other, do as they are told by the old guard.

I've cast my votes, made my calls, sent letters and faxes until I was cross-eyed, but still these all go un-heeded in Washington. What else can be done?

Anonymous said...

Well, the article, like the usual right wing rant, carefully avoids the elephant in the room (literally) which is the bloated military-industrial-complex which drains the biggest share of the taxpayers' money while creating the horrendous trillions in debt the US is collapsing under now, and no one will talk about. This is not 'defense' but 'offense' militarism to benefit the War Profiteers of Haliburton et al and increase hatred of the West and more instability.

It is the Conservatives' dream as propounded in Project for a New American Century of Robber Baron and War Profiteer control of the government in their lust for constant wars for continuous profits, and the people pay.

It is the Robber Barons of the deregulated Corporations and Banks that have brought us all to our knees through their greed, speculation and incompetence for the third time in a century, not social programs for the people, which are the mark of a civilized society.

It's interesting this rant doesn't mention or mind the redistribution of wealth upward to the rich from the ever poorer middle and working classes, and that the economy was at its height when taxes on the rich were at their highest. Lowering taxes on the rich and increased military spending are the 2 main causes of this awful debt Dubya left us with.

Politicians from both corporate parties have embraced the failed Reagan/Thatcher economics of trickle down greed, deregulation of big business and banks, and low taxes on the rich, along with welfare to Big Oil, while millions lose their homes and these Robber Barons get richer.

Shame on you. Conservatives have fought against the people and their well-being from the beginning, while picking their pockets to fund a world-dominating military to enrich the few and protect the unearned profits of those at the top.

This current Shock Capitalism is what the Conservatives have dreamed of and worked toward for decades - the excuse to strip all programs to benefit the people, including public education, and redistribute their dwindling wealth upward to the few at the top. You've lost all credibility with this bull.

Sue said...

Anonymous...If you can get over your scripted meme for about 10 minutes (the endless liberal droning), take a better look at yourself: http://tinyurl.com/3gajnm8

Daniel Greenfield @ the Sultan Knish blog said...

So who just started a new war?

That right wing conservative, Barack Hussein Obama.

Military costs can be controlled, unlike say setting up a program to provide home loans to minorities who can't afford to pay them, thanks to which we got our wonderful economic crisis now.

You want pocket picking. Go take a look at your environmental comrades, hiking the prices on everything and paying out the money to their own think tanks and consultancies.

You want to see robber barons, go look at Al Gore, a liar and tobacco plantation owner, turned environmentalist deity, preaching green apocalypse in exchange for cash.

Go look at the Obamas stuffing their faces and flitting around the world, while people go hungry.

You want something to be ashamed, go look at your own damn party.

Sue said...

Anonymous...David gave you the smack down you rightfully deserve! Your silly liberal mindset doesn't even come close to reality. Obamanation has personally increased the debt more than all other preceding presidents put together. That's something to be ashamed of for sure! And it's destroying our country!

If you don't have the time to read the article at the link above, perhaps just this graphic will help you understand, paying close attention to the sections near the front.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/zoooma/3390652314/

Broadwood said...

Direct democracy - yes! If only! But where in the West is this more than an ideal? Not in the States, or the UK, for sure.

Lemon has nailed it about the gravy train that currently passes for democratic representation in any major Western nation, and I echo Sue's comment about the state of our 'elected' assemblies, it's the same here, whatever the political stripe of the incumbent, the government machine just gets bigger and bigger. And as you say, the bigger the institution, the more corruptible it is.

We need less government for sure. But no-one's prepared to even put that on the table. There's less glib talk about globalisation lately, but the relentless push is still there. It's hard to see how any kind of real democracy or self-determination can survive.

TBS said...

Red ois not just the colour of Communism - it is the colour of blood.
I think bloopd will flow before this gets fixed.

We have the same situation to s lightly lesser extent in Australia now, with ugly totalitarians moving to assume command of the place.

Greg RN said...

Thanks again Daniel, I was wondering if you could write an article addressing the lengths these Misguided are willing to go to, in an effort to hold onto power and how we might rescind the "New Deal" after the smoke clears and the blood drains from the streets.

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