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Archive for August, 2011

WSJ—The Fall of the Midwest Economic Model

August 15th, 2011 No comments

Given the current state of the economy, the 2012 presidential race should be Perry’s to lose. If he fails to take advantage of this opportunity

Money quotes:

Adversarial unionism is one reason the Midwest slumped. It turns out that the 1970 assembly line, with union shop stewards always poised to shut it down, was not the highest stage of human economic development. When you make labor more expensive, you create incentives to invent new machines and create new jobs elsewhere. Foreign auto manufacturers built plants in a South recently freed from state-imposed racial segregation. With no adversarial unions, management and labor could collaborate and achieve quality levels the Big Three took decades to match.

and

Mr. Perry points out that his state, with low taxes and light regulation, has been producing nearly half of America’s new jobs.

Perry needs to avoid discussing the other Republican candidates and focus entirely on the things Texas is doing differently, why they are working when liberal policies in other states are failing, and how they can be extended to the country at large. It’s hard to argue against success.

Categories: Domestic, Economy Tags: ,

More Like Europe?

August 10th, 2011 No comments

The left in America would have us become more like Europe: a largely secular society with cradle-to-grave “security” provided by the government. After seeing the rioting in England—public depredations that can only be described as evil—I’ll pass.

MOBS have begun stripping people and taking their belongings as police struggle to control riots in London and in other major English cities…

A young man is shown being forced to hand over all of his clothes after appearing to be stripped naked during the third night of lawless riots…

Another picture which emerged shows an unnamed woman completely naked next to a police officer after apparently having her clothes taken from her…

…another shocking video shows a bleeding teenager being robbed in broad daylight by lawless thugs who pretend to help him to his feet.

[Note the stirling security provided by the British government. The Bobbies—yes, that’s one ‘o’ and two ‘b’s, not the other way around—can’t control the mobs, and the people have been entirely disarmed by their own government so that they can’t protect themselves. But that’s a whole ’nother can-o-worms.]

And what are they rioting over? The big-government teat at which they’ve been feeding is drying up. This is swiftly becoming a recurring pattern—riots in Greece, France, and England by a populace weakened and spoiled by decades of government coddling. Once people grow accustomed to being cared for, they lose the ability—and the moral determination—to care for themselves. Think that couldn’t happen here? Yeah, I’d have thought the same thing a few decades ago when I lived in Europe and visited the U.K. with my family. But I was young and naive then.

Thou Shalt Envy

August 8th, 2011 5 comments

As our nation’s debt crisis has become a central focus of our popular media, the rhetoric of class envy has been escalated to a near fever pitch. Of course this has always been the primary tactic of the political left, beginning most popularly with Marx and continuing rather visibly today in his ideological descendants. The easiest and most consistently reliable way for leftists to maintain and increase their power is to first engender envy of the wealthy, then to convince the general populace that it is not only morally acceptable, but morally right to take wealth from others by sheer might of the popular vote.

Their task really isn’t all that hard. Envy is one of the most common and basic human reactions when we are confronted with someone who has more than we. We’re warned against one variant of envy in the tenth commandment [Exodus 20:17]: “Thou shalt not covet.” (Yet another reason the left dislikes traditional Judeo-Christian values, but I digress.) But envy itself isn’t necessarily bad—like so many of life’s challenges, it depends upon what you make of it.

en-vy, n. painful or resentful awareness of an advantage enjoyed by another joined with a desire to possess the same advantage (Merriam-Webster)

The critical point in the definition of envy comes in the first three words.

One reaction to seeing others’ success—be it wealth, popularity, physical fitness—is to resent that success. This response yields a desire to level the playing field by diminishing the value of the other. After all, they can’t possibly deserve what they have when I don’t have the same. This is classical leftism at work: the success or failure of the individual is portrayed as largely beyond his own control. It’s a pretty easy sell because it doesn’t require anything of the individual.

The other, healthier, reaction is to be pained by the others’ advantage—not in a manner destructive to self or others, but rather in a way that makes you ask yourself, “What are they doing that I’m not? How should I change myself in order to achieve the same successes?” This path requires the individual to take responsibility for his own success or failure, to stop blaming others for consequences of poor personal decisions, and to take positive action to improve himself rather than tearing down another.

One thing is certain—when you see someone who has something you want but don’t have, you will envy them in some way. The only question is which direction your response will lead you. Will you tear others down or build yourself up? That choice is yours alone.

Categories: Conservatism Tags:
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