It is Training Season
As a result of the Republican Party being out of power, many Conservatives / Libertarians have exerted their political energy toward horserace predictions for 2010 and 2012. Everyday we hear what Sarah Palin or Mitt Romney said in the news, followed by a lengthy analysis of whether or not these individuals have a chance to lead Republicans out of the wilderness. Moreover, polling companies have already looked into how Sarah Palin will fair against Barack Obama if the race were today, leading many to be discouraged that she currently would not receive more than 40% of the vote.
I have a suggestion: Instead of engaging in a clairvoyance competition, let us look at what we as individuals can do to win on GameDay; think of this as training season.
First, every Republican must be able to articulate, in plain language, how we got into this economic crisis. As many economists have said, blaming this mess on greed is like blaming a plane crash on gravity. But, if Republicans cannot explain to the average person how we got here, the Democrats can demagogue their way into winning more elections. Worse yet, they can persuade the public to continue the policies that got us into this problem in the first place.
Here is my simple explanation: When private companies cannot fail no matter what they do because the government will back their failures, they will make really stupid decisions. Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae had government-backed loans so they made poor decisions with their lending practices with the laudable goal of increasing home ownership. However, the problem was that they backed companies that lent to people who could never pay the loans back. Private companies, knowing the government backed the mortgages, repackaged the mortgages to sell because the government guaranteed their returns. Then when the mortgages defaulted, everyone came to the taxpayers to bail out the loans. If the mortgages weren’t backed, they never would have been made or repackaged. Lastly, the Federal Reserve by keeping interest rates too low exacerbated all of this lending.
If you want a comprehensive understanding of this, rather than a simple paragraph, I would suggest reading Thomas E. Woods, Jr.’s Meltdown: A Free-Market Look at Why the Stock Market Collapsed, the Economy Tanked, and Government Bailouts Will Make Things Worse
. It really outlines all the governmental culprits and allows you to explain to your friends and family how we got here.
After understanding how we arrived at this point, we need to reread the great thinkers of the past and present, including: Milton Friedman; Thomas Sowell; Frederick Hayek; Ludvig Von Mises; Frederic Bastiat, etc. The reason why I chose these individuals is because they have already constructed the greatest arguments in history against socialism; we don’t need to remake the wheel to defeat the Leftists.
Frederic Bastiat (1801-1850), for example, was a French economist, statesman, and author. His most famous work, “The Law,” was published in 1850 and can shed great light into the debate about socialized medicine. In “The Law,” Bastiat stated the following:
Socialism, like the ancient ideas from which it springs, confuses the distinction between government and society. As a result of this, every time we object to a thing being done by government, the socialists conclude that we object to its being done at all.
We disapprove of state education. Then the socialists say that we are opposed to any education. We object to a state religion. Then the socialists say that we want no religion at all. We object to a state-enforced equality. Then they say that we are against equality. And so on, and so on. It is as if the socialists were to accuse us of not wanting persons to eat because we do not want the state to raise grain.
Folks, my point is that it is now our opportunity to inform ourselves about what it means to be Conservatives / Libertarians. Only then can we convince our friends and family to vote for limited government. It is not enough to assume that fellow citizens know the flaws of socialism; we must take the initiative to inform them of its fallacies ourselves. Only then will we be able to get out of the wilderness, and not a moment sooner.