THE RESURGENCE OF AN OLD HERESY

19 09 2010

Authored by William Robert Barber

Winston Churchill wrote that “Capitalism is the unequal distribution of wealth. Socialism is the equal distribution of poverty.”

Adam Smith is considered the father of modern economics; he wrote about the “invisible hand” of free enterprise. Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels are credited with creating an economic, political, and philosophical basis for state control or ownership of all material resources and assets. In the present, the liberal progressives of the Obama brand have chosen a synthesis between Smith and Marx. Their Obama brand is heavy on state control and light on free enterprise.

Obama is a socialist. But most of all, he is a politically inspired leftist zealot; he will do or say whatever is necessary to attain or retain his power. Over the last hundred years, this nation has leaned far to the political and economic left; plus, if one considers the validation of the last presidential election, one could reckon conservative principles mortally wounded. As a consequence, Obama and his acolytes accepted the last two presumptions as truthful, so plotted and planned the coup de grace to American capitalism. Of course the progressives along with impairing capitalism also wanted to rid America of its sense of exceptionalism. So not to offend its brother and sister nations, it also wanted America to cede its pride and unilaterally denominate its power and prestige.

I do think there is a common thread, distinction, or predominate hue amongst socialist, dictatorships, and Obama’s liberal progressives. As a matter of procedure and process, all capital mandated by legislation or edict in the form of tax, license, or fee must first funnel thru the federal treasury before distribution to dedicated entities or concerns.

Obviously, this transactional funneling of cash aside from promoting begging and corruption is the central government’s means of exacting retribution, rewards, and absolute control over the states, counties, cities, and therefore the people.

For those of us who believe that society exists for the benefit of individual people, that government intervention in the interest of the collective is unwarranted coerciveness, and that there should be no constraints by the government as to individual achievement…beware!

If free enterprise is the exceptional basis of Americanism then there is a resurgent’s of a heresy. This heresy, for a substantial portion of the populous, has an instant emotional appeal. The thesis of this heresy is fraught with stimulating calls to and for societal reformation. The context of this heresy required Wilson, Roosevelt, FDR, and the Obama government to use heretofore extraordinary methods and means to exact its ideological agenda. The empathy for this heresy is global in scope. It is well regarded in all political environments. The Europeans love it. The heresy is embedded in universal theology and particularly popular amongst the academic intelligentsia.

The heresy is founded on the premise that the lack of equal status be it social, material, or political is the root of all human negatives. Hence egalitarianism (the heresy in subject) is the universal answer. And most importantly, the political exactness of this egalitarian belief is that the state is the best and final arbiter of any and all nuances, definitions, or particulars of and for policy implementation. Although feigning concerns of social and economic injustice the expediters of this heresy are focused on politics and hell-bent to attain power.

The heresy has and does have many differing names: socialism, communism, anarchism, left-libertarianism, and within the last 150 years or so, progressivism. All of these “isms” profess economic, political, and legal egalitarian virtues. The ethos of this heresy is premised on an oligarchic elitism. Whereby; ostensibly, in the interest of the collective community, those few who ‘knowingly understand the meaningfulness of material issues and values” will lead the many who know far less.

The newest version of this heresy is Obama-ism. The president and his confederates of political progressive persuasion have cleverly traversed their way into power. They managed their entrée the ole fashion way…they got themselves elected. Now their heretofore campaign rhetoric has run into the real world; wherein, smartly expressed and cleverly designed falls anemically short of required. Within the Obama economic team, academic theory has run its course, predictions failed there delivered with zest benchmarks, billions of dollars have been spent with very little to no results. The cry for the empirically measured is pushing and pulling it way onto the center front of the economic-political mainstay. The Obama economic policy is being dissected, deciphered, and dismissed as counter-productive, wasteful, costly, misdirected, and possibly even counter-intuitive.

Withstanding the measure and failing grade Obama persists…well, November is just around the corner.

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POLICY MEETS GOOD SENSE

11 09 2010

Authored by William Robert Barber

Certainly I cannot confirm, nevertheless, my assumption is that within the mindset of a liberal progressive there is a compelling sense for moral righteousness; this self-determined moral sense of doing what is righteous forms the basis of a liberal progressive’s obligor of service. It is this moral determinative of righteousness that kindles the ideal, the exceptional, the reasoning to their often indiscernible, too wit.

Liberal progressives envision themselves as the modern paladin; a champion of fairness, social justice, enablers of “a level playing field;” they are the separator, the benchmark, the contrast from the normative base and common. They are the intelligentsia of cognitive all-knowing. Wonks who possess the utility of sublime meaningfulness, these liberal progressives, out of their sheer sense of moral righteousness, know, it is best and in the interest of the common good that they govern those that know less.

For the liberal progressive, the presumption of cognitive all-knowing is the intrinsic precursor, an intellectual predeterminative that applies to all political and socio-economic problem-solving. It is this ideal of moral fidelity to righteousness that intrinsically fuels a progressive’s contemplation, analysis, and conclusiveness.

By means of gradual intellectual stimuli layered by years of scholarly affect or the natural evolving of a parent’s initial prospective, and possibly the sublet persuasion of a teacher or mender; regardless, the parts and pieces aggregate into the result and a liberal progressive mind-set is created.

Somewhere along this line of aggregating parts and pieces, the methodology of logical deduction is overwhelmed by the comforting assurance of predeterminative beliefs. Let’s utilize the Obama administration’s approach to solving the challenges brought about by the present economic turndown:

The recession preceded Obama’s oath of office by about a year; in February 2008, G. W. Bush, with the support of a Democratic Congress, established a $168 billion stimulus. Larry Summers and Peter Orszag endorsed the policy, noting that this and any stimulus should be “timely, targeted and temporary.”

By the third quarter of 2008, the GDP fell by 4% and the financial meltdown finalized any hope of economic recovery. Stimulus I failed. Not deterred, Stimulus II moved into execution, this time the amount was $814 billion. Summers now promised that this cash-influx would have a 1.5 “multiplier” effect on GNP growth, not to be outdone; Christina Romer and Jared Bernstein infamously predicted that this stimulus would keep unemployment below 8%.

The Federal Reserve had its own unprecedented monetary stimulus with cutting interest rates near zero and purchasing 2 trillion dollars worth of mortgage-backed securities as well as other assets of unknown market value.

Congress, not wanting to seem disengaged from the crisis of the moment, created other cash giveaways of its own design: The $8,000 home-buyer’s tax credit, mortgage payment relief, and unemployment pay extended to 99 weeks, and cash-for-clunkers.

In the end of the end, the government has never before spent so much and intervened so directly in credit allocation and received in turn so very little. After nearly 3 trillion in federal debt, we still have over 15 million unemployed.

Now, after all of this evidence and fiscal testimony, what does the Obama administration and the liberal progressive majority in congress want for this nation? Well, more stimulus! Their reasoning is that the stimulus was too small. The “because” part of their failure to address the economic turndown is particularly insightful; they say that the Republicans just respond with “no” and do everything in their power to block their efforts. Imagine, the Democrats control the entire government and it is the Republicans who blocked their problem solving agenda!

I wonder, considering his government’s failure to stimulate the economy by the means employed before and after his inauguration, will its economic team push on with more of the same? Will there be a continuum? Will the basis of Obama’s progressive ideological inclination overwhelm the empirical evidence that indicates a contrarian initiative to spend and tax as a solution?

I think that if one looks to his constancy of trashing business and bankers as greedy SOBs, calling out entrepreneurs as nothing less than rotten special interest, and obstacles to his plans of “transforming” American society, more than likely Obama is committed to his ideological agenda.

Recently, at a Labor Day event, the president said, “anyone who thinks we can move this economy forward with a few doing well at the top, hoping it’ll trickle down to working folks running faster and faster just to keep up, they just haven’t studied our history. We didn’t become the most prosperous country in the world by rewarding greed and recklessness.”

How’s that for restoring the confidence of the average business person? All this president seems interested in is creating uncertainty and doubt. In the tax-and-spend world of Obama, his most recent contradiction is that he wants to cut taxes on capital because the economy needs the stimulus — then he wants to raise taxes on capital that he says won’t hurt growth… hmm….

At the top of this article I noted the liberal progressive sense of moral righteousness as an a-priori of cause. I now suggest that their ideologically founded predeterminations have corrupted their ability to tackle the real-world requirement of adaptation to contrary empirical evidence. Hence the ability of a liberal progressive to implement an economic policy not harmonious with their guiding ideology ranges from extremely difficult to impossible.

Obama and his confederates will not allow, even at the expense of the nation’s interest, evidence to the contrary of their political prospective to alter their actions. So let’s throw the bums out of office…





MY HIGH SCHOOL REUNION

9 09 2010

Authored by William Robert Barber

Over the Labor Day weekend I attended my high school reunion. This is a high school in the bustling midst of colleges and churches in Washington in western-Pennsylvania. Named after the father of this great nation, the town of Washington is proud of its steel and coal heritage. As with every city, there are the better (wealthier) and the worse (poorer) neighborhoods — Washington is no different. East Washington was very much the better. In fact, that section of the city was so influential, it gerrymandered its own school district; hence, East Washington High School.

In 1962 I left the class of ’63 for the Marines. Leaving high school at such a young age was very difficult; but I had no actionable choice. Therefore, the nostalgia for what could have been has, to this day, run the gauntlet of differing emotional intensities, and the act of leaving high school has inundated my mind ever since I boarded that train for Paris Island.

At 17 I was pure of heart and void of mind — perfect material for the Marines. It did not take very long for me to adapt to the military life but I always held the pictures of teachers and classmates of East Washington High School close within me.

So 48 years after I left the 11th grade, I reunited with several of my former classmates. Memories are susceptible to distortions. And from time to time – even in real time – one has just enough of an illusionary glow to reflect the perfect image as indiscernible. As a consequence, after some prompting, our eyes see, to some measure, the influence of yesteryear’s persona. This view of a classmate’s likeness after 48 years of maturity’s effect does have its variance of clarity; nevertheless, once the person’s personality erupts into voice and mannerism, the outer submits to the inner and the classmate of 1962 is revealed.

The reunion experience has reestablished what we all knew: That time is indiscriminate in its destruction. That even for the youthful once-upon-a-time teenager of pure heart and empty head, Father Time will extract its due. Everyone suffers as time ushers us all to a common finality. There is nothing like going to a high school reunion to validate that factual. So for the faint of heart, I would not recommend aging nor attending high school reunions.

There was a little politics in the air… nothing of real passion but I did want to hear more from a former fellow student of East Washington High who was a foreign exchange pupil from Norway. The subject that caught my interest was related to ObamaCare; Britt (sorry if the spelling is wrong) expressed her befuddlement as to why Americans did not want to help their less privileged citizens with healthcare. I did want to follow that up with some more information on her thought process but the situation just did not dictate an opportunity. Britt lives in Norway. From my observation she is a sophisticated, highly intelligent, well traveled person; she is also a person of influence and civil sway. I would be very interested in her reasoning.

For me, the primary issue of consideration is not whether or not an individual American wants to help their less than privileged fellow citizen. The issue for me is the arrogance of the central government to mandate me to pay. By what right of governess do the feds compel me to pay someone else’s healthcare bill? In America, our tradition has always been one of self-governess; in Europe, submission to the rule of government, particularly, after WWII, has been their heritage. Individual liberty for those across the pond has sold its soul to the central planning commission. The practice of socialism has eroded away any spirit of self-determination or the embracing of individualism.

Well, as once said many years ago, “We’re running out of daylight, got to move on.”





RANDOM THOUGHTS…

2 09 2010

Authored by William Robert Barber

THE AFGHAN CONFLICT

When I hear pundits, reporters, and journalists speak of the never-ending war in Afghanistan, I am a bit puzzled by the meaningfulness of their apparent frustration. Hasn’t this nation of ours, even before its independence, been steadfastly engaged in violent conflict? If Jamestown of 1619 was the beginning of our nation’s English dominated heritage, hence a reasonable starting point to mark the first violent conflict between 1619 and 2010, how many wars, lethal conflicts, police actions, battles, insurrections, civil uprisings, and violent engagement has this nation of ours participated in? So, if we have been in Afghanistan for these many years, the length of this particular engagement should not be of particular concern. With time as its witness, history has proven that if it wasn’t Afghanistan, it would simply be in a different geography and name.

History has documented, not only for America, that armed conflict is a constant. The only variables are intensity and geography. The issue of concern, for pundits, reporters, and journalists cannot be the length but the reason.

SUMMERS, GEITHNER, ROMER – THE OBAMA ECONOMIC TEAMS

On August 3 of this year, Geithner soberly communicated that the $862 billion government stimulus was still rolling out, business investment was booming, and the economy was poised for sustainable growth. Really! The treasury secretary along with the Obama economic team actually believes their lying eyes. The economic team endorsed a Keynesian economic application to this recession. In essence, the Keynesian approach plus the Obama twist is to print more money and give said printed money away to unionist friends. Of course the Obama twist includes a giveaway to union projects, empathetic political affiliates — and by no means leaves out in the cold their overweight pension impaired bureaucracies.

According to WSJ’s Review & Outlook, Geithner suggested that “government spending can stimulate growth by triggering private demand”, that “tax rates are irrelevant to investment decisions”, that “waves of new regulations can be absorbed by business with little impact on costs or hiring”, and that “politicians can assail capitalists without having any effect on the movement of capital.” Hmm…

President Bush and his economic team, headed by Secretary Paulson, also strutted unabashed in the same economic direction albeit, timidly, with much less of the taxpayers’ cash. Nevertheless, the financial implication was exactly the same waste of money / add on to the federal deficit. Culpable in all of these spend-more policies of Bush & Obama is congress and the aggressive yea votes of both political parties; amazingly, the spending continues as if rain is not wet.

A majority of elected representatives, for a very long time to the present, from one election to another, have successfully navigated thru the self-created shoals and reefs of what they say to get elected versus what they do once in office. The experience indicates that a politician’s loyalty to ideology, political party, and getting reelected trumps representing the common prudent interest of their constituents.

THE WHITE HOUSE AND THE DEMOCRATIC MAJORITY

The time maybe close at hand to form an independent political party; this formation is still out there in the distant future. Presently, we have a choice between the Republican and the Democratic Party; of the two, I choose the Republican. But I swear, if they screw this up like they did the last time…