Saturday, July 18, 2009

“The statists are in control.”

I'd like to be as sure as Peter Morici is in this CNBC clip about the fate of cap-and-trade and the Bride of HillaryCare.

In support of his bullish view, he uses an odd metaphor of an aircraft landing on the deck of a carrier and then, “The politics are very important here. I think cap-and-trade's going down. I think healthcare's going down. And when investors see that, and when the public sees that, and when entrepreneurs see that, they'll say, ‘Hey, America's back! The statists are out!’”

Peter Schiff responds: “I hope these things are defeated. If they're not defeated, it's just gonna take a bad situation and make it worse. But the statists aren't out. They're here; they're in control.”

I'm pleased that this pejorative has been making a comeback in recent months, but it's at least eight years too late.

If you're picking up despair, it's an after-effect of Valkyrie's cinematography, which my wife and I watched last night. Portraits everywhere of Der Führer. Endless arrays of Nazi black, white, and red on stark display. The rule of man. The horror of people being tyrannized by this evil criminal gang and, even worse, so many enthusiastically taking part in its atrocities. It's a frightening historical demonstration of the ratchet effect's potential.

Here in America, the cutting-edge, heady mathematical techniques of addition and subtraction show the situation has also gone out of control, albeit along a different axis. The feds will never pay off their debts—not in real terms, that is. They cannot possibly make good on their promises of Medicare and Social Security: certainly not with Bush's addition to the former, and with the latter, everyone up to around my age cohort is being forced to pay fully fifteen percent of annual income into a system from which realistic hope of receiving benefit is zero. The same goes for paper money and the rest of the welfare state. Already, people are arguing over who should be forced to the back of the line, and the state-run rationing system for healthcare hasn't yet been instituted!

In the long run, the bad guys can't win because they're fighting economic law, but between now and then can be dreadful. The decent remnant of Germans, whom it's easy to forget when jingoistically lumping them all together as “dirty Nazi krauts,” ultimately depended on calamity to knock them off the bad course they were on.

Not a great place to invest one's hopes. Ideas have power.


Anonymous said...

My gut feeling is that you're absolutely right, but you're just making claims, and I'm just inclined to agree, and it doesn't really add up to anything.

It'd be good to see some numbers. I don't know for sure that whatever Obama's talking about doing can't work, or that government, can't, for some reason, provide better services than the private sector. In fact, I think I know it actually could, just that it shouldn't and almost certainly won't.

Or, perhaps more usefully, instead of doing an autopsy, say what you plan to do to ensure that you aren't victimized by this stuff. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Europe and Canada have made good on social security and medicare. Maybe culturally Americans are doomed to failed attempts because their populations are so cowtowed and propagandized that they'll accept any immediate dismantling of such a system.

The idea that such a system couldn't work is preposterous. It works everywhere else in the developed world and these countries often have way better standard of living stats than America.