Out of the blue and into the black
They give you this, but you pay for that
Once you’re gone, you can’t come back
When you’re out of the blue and into the black
~ Neil Young – Into The Black
Let’s be honest. In a little over one day, we’re going over the fiscal cliff. But what that means and what will happen next is anyone’s guess. How we got there is not quite so abstract.
We’re here first because of government overspending. The entitlement state began first, not with a public feeling of entitlement, but with the state’s.
This idea of people paying their “fair share” with no discussion at all of what “fair” even means is part and parcel of the problem. Many in government, including even many conservatives, believe the government is the main source of public prosperity. Certainly, good government is the main source of public order, but prosperity itself comes from an entirely different source.
The Soviet Union was a nation of the strictest order and discipline. At the same time, it had a notable lack of prosperity. The Soviet Union never managed to raise society up to once common standard. Instead, it dragged the vast majority of them into a dark depression-era existence. And when the Soviet Union finally collapsed in upon itself the way an exhausted star collapses into a black hole, it left a population morally, financially, and physically unable to drag itself from the learned dependence imposed by that now-extinct government. It left behind a nation composed largely of helpless orphans.
The clear message of history is this; government can help foster economic prosperity, and it can certainly benefit from that prosperity. At the same time, it cannot create that prosperity. The idea that government can grow and tax and control and, through all of this, somehow create a prosperous society is, at best, naive.
Government’s role is justice and public order. It can never do this perfectly, but it can seek an equilibrium that gives the society which it was created to serve the maximum opportunity to live and prosper.
When government attempts to create perfect justice or even perfect equality, what it actually creates is rampant INjustice. This should be obvious to most. You might be a firm believer in God or in the blind processes of metaphysical naturalism. In either case, it should be obvious that there’s no such thing as perfection in this universe. The very laws of the universe contradict the concept of perfection; yet some stubbornly believe such a thing is possible from the sinful/barely-evolved hands of men and women. We know what to call this kind of thinking.
We’re here as well because of the arrogance of some. It’s an arrogance that believes perfection is possible and that a few “elites” should lead the many. “We know best how to make things right,” they tell us. “You folks just let us do what we must.”
And when those well-laid plans go wrong? Well, it’s not their fault. Like a fraudulent faith healer who tells a poor unhealed follower their cancer can’t be healed because their faith is too weak, liberals point fingers and say, “it’s your fault for resisting change.”
So, while President Obama is willing to veto the Keystone Pipeline project over a possible ecological threat, he and many other liberals are willing to push legislation will, without a doubt, damage our economy.
Those who see themselves as the “elite” of our society are, at best, amateurs who believe they can perform delicate open-heart surgery after watching a Youtube video. But they don’t see or understand this. Instead, they press on, thinking in their pride and arrogance they can do all things for all people.
It’s an arrogance so extreme, coupled with a complete lack of personal insight, as to threaten our national survival. Even so, this threat could have been averted, but for one final problem.
Too many of us have adopted this idea of entitlement. The state used to provide a safety net for citizens. It is now busily weaving the safety net into a hammock. And too many remain silent when they well understand that it is leading us to our own economic black hole.
What must the state provide? Everything of course. Not just public order and justice, but equality. So a person who prefers not to work should have all the same benefits as someone who works 60 or 80 hours per week building a business.
American society has long been uniquely work-oriented. People in other nations scoff over how much Americans work, but for centuries hard work in America has been rewarded by prosperity. Perhaps not fabulous wealth, but most aren’t interested in this. Their American Dream is one of home, family, and community. Americans have long known, in their wisdom, that family, productive work, and economic stability is its own form of wealth. “Money can’t buy you love,” as the old saying goes; but independence and hard work, coupled with family and community, can bring mental, physical, and spiritual benefits that no other form of wealth can rival.
But now we are standing by while others try to replace that time-proven ethic with one of “state.” Those unwilling to work, unable to build family, and disconnected from any sense of community are rewarded and, thus, reinforced in activities completely counterproductive to society.
We know as a rock-solid truth that, when you reward some actions and punish others, you get more of the one and less of the other. Unfortunately, when those of us who know this try to speak up, we’re shouted down by liberals everywhere. And with liberal media ruthlessly echoing such messages, voices of common sense are drowned out, shouted down, and silenced.
So what will happen come January 1, 2013? All over the country, businesses are sending messages to employees warning them of tax hikes. Not only will Bush-era tax rates disappear, new taxes to fund Obamacare will take effect.
Democrats think that once all the Bush-era rates go away they can reconstitute these rates for anyone making less that $250,000 a year. It’s likely they can, but in the process, damage will be done to the country. That damage is likely to be severe, with more jobs lost and the already-deep anger towards government intensifying. It’s not an inability to pass legislation which annoys most people, it’s their inability to solve problems which they themselves have created.
The idea of sequestration was the President’s idea. He could not get what he wanted, so he decided to delay the final resolution. Now we stand at the edge of a cliff built up through government incompetence. A cliff which will cause some kind of damage. We know how we got here, we just don’t know how bad the damage will be when the economy gets thrown over that cliff two days from now.