What Americans Want: Save Me!

This election means change, alright, but it’s not the changes that seem evident at first blush.The Wall Street Journal’s Daniel Henniger gets down to what this election means for America:

Push past the historic candidacy, however, and one sees something even larger at stake in this vote. One sees what Joe (The Plumber) Wurzelbacher saw. The real “change” being put to a vote for the American people in 2008 is not simply a break from the economic policies of “the past eight years” but with the American economic philosophy of the past 200 years. This election is about a long-term change in America’s idea of itself.

I don’t agree with the argument that an Obama-Pelosi-Reid government is a one-off, that good old nonideological American pragmatism will temper their ambitions. Not true. With this election, the U.S. is at a philosophical tipping point.

The goal of Sen. Obama and the modern, “progressive” Democratic Party is to move the U.S. in the direction of Western Europe, the so-called German model and its “social market economy.” Under this notion, business is highly regulated, as it would be in the next Congress under Democratic House committee chairmen Markey, Frank and Waxman. Business is allowed to create “wealth” so long as its utility is not primarily to create new jobs or economic growth but to support a deep welfare system.

An Obama presidency would lead America towards a European “social market economy.” (Oct. 30)

The political planets are aligned to make this achievable. In the aftermath of the financial crisis, prominent Democrats, European leaders in France and Germany and more U.S. newspaper articles than one can count have said that the crisis proves the need to permanently tame the American “free-market” model. P.O.W. Alan Greenspan is broadcasting confessions. The question is: Are the American people of a mind to throw in the towel on the system that got them here?

While Europeans seem eager to for Americans to follow them into mediocrity, they ignore what that will mean for them personally. They have had the luxury of depending on American magnanimity for security so they could have universal health care and long vacations. That will likely soon change.

Americans, many of them, see these realities:

  • We help people in the world and they hate us. Why help them? Isolationism favors Democrats.
    We put all this money towards AIDS in Africa, peace in the Middle East, safety in Europe and it seems like we work harder to make ends meet. Protectionism favors Democrats.
    All politicians are self-involved, lying, cheating, money-grubbing, above-the-law scumbags. Cynicism favors Democrats.
    We used to be able to count on loyalty from our company, a good job that didn’t require much but kept me busy and wage increases that at least met or beat inflation. Job security is a thing of the past. Fear favors Democrats.
  • The world seems increasingly beyond everyone’s control. Part of the reason that George W. Bush backed the Paulson Plan is because he knows that world-wide panic can cause economic and social chaos. Too many moving parts, too many decisions, too much confusing information.

    State control saves a person the trouble of having to think or having to be uncomfortable. Well, that’s the idea anyway.

    Americans have traditionally chosen the vicissitudes of a free market because they could see the personal benefit. There is less security, but there is much more reward. When people feel that the reward is out of reach or impossible, they turn to guaranteed not-too-awfulness–socialism. It’s better than destitution or the fear that one may end up destitute. Venezuela is Exhibit “A”, at the moment.

    MaxedOutMama, wrote an excellent post in this regard. There is a WHY here and Republicans are not blameless. In fact, a whole host of uncomfortable economic information points to why Americans are where they are at. She says:

    I’ll tell you what’s so insane about this election. First, neither candidate is addressing the real US problem, which are policies that have driven the bottom 60% of the US income pyramid into financial difficulty. The 80-90% segment of the pyramid is a derivative of the bottom 60%. The 90-95% segment is a derivative of the 80-90%. The 60-80% plus the 95-100% wedges are too little to carry the rest. What we need to do is subsidize the bottom 5-15%, take some of the tax load off the 15-30%, and increase taxation on the 80% – 100%. The best way to stimulate the middle is to spark corporate growth, which can best be done by going to a moderate flat tax on corporations. I’d suggest 18%.

    Those destructive policies are policies of energy starvation, which destroys economies, and industrial starvation, which destroys economies, and a regressive taxation policy which increases the relative load on the bottom of the pyramid. Second, neither candidate is willing to really address the future compounding of our current problems, which is the coming retirement boom. Third, neither candidate is willing to address the nearly global changes in the business climate, which have combined to decrease US ability to compete. Fourth, both candidates advocate a carbon cap and trade policy which would be economic suicide if applied mainly to the US, and global economic suicide if applied fairly.

    The bozo election will not end well. It is true that Obama is worse, because McCain’s energy policy is a lot more realistic.

    When the bottom 60% feel unstable, even when they have a job, even a regular paycheck, but they live precariously, socialist policies–which would be the exact worst thing for them ultimately but sound good in the short term–become appealing.

    The problem with this socialistic impulse: America just can’t do it. With Baby Boomers who have never known a challenging economic moment retiring, there are going to have to be cuts not expansion of the government. But I fear that’s exactly what both candidate will attempt.

    These next four years, the next fifteen, are going to be challenging. Looking at all this, the words of Mr. T come to mind: “I pity the fool” who will be facing this mess.

    Cross-posted at MelissaClouthier.com

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