Thursday, October 30, 2008

Where Have All The Cowboys Gone?

Dan Henninger makes clear the economic implications of the imminent transition we face: American Cowboy Capitalism is going on the shelf, and under Democrat hegemony, we're going to wheel out a Euro style hammock, put our feet up, and retire from our status as world leader of anything. Hans Morganthau, dean of the "realism" school in international relations knew that power consists, only and always, in all three of its expressions: political, economic, and military. No nation can be a world power without excelling in all three, and this is why America has been the world hegemon--much to the discomfiture of the Left--for almost a century, despite the aggressive rise of totalitarian governments throughout the 20th century. We are now set to kiss it all goodbye, and as Henniger ruefully points out, once it's done, it's done. We're done.

Several other commentators have put together their parade of Barackian horribles, some listed by David below, and here is Henninger's partial list:

Obama's federalized medical insurance system starts the transition away from private medical care and toward Obama's endlessly promised "universal health care." This has always been the sine qua non of planting a true, managed-market economy in the U.S.
Obama's refundable tax credits are direct cash transfers from the federal government. This would place some 48% of Americans, nearly half, out of the income tax system. More than a tax proposal, this is a deep philosophical shift, an American version of being "on the dole."

His stated intent to renegotiate free-trade agreements such as Nafta is a philosophical shift. It abandons the tradition of a hyper-competitive America dating back to the Industrial Revolution, toward a protected, domestic workforce, as in Western Europe. The Democratic proposal to eliminate private union votes -- "card check" -- ensures the spread of a static, Euro-style workforce.

Eliminating the ceiling on payroll taxes changes Social Security from an insurance to a welfare program. Obama's tax credits requires performing government-identified activities, the essence of a "directed economy."

All this would transform the animating American idea -- away from creation and toward protection.

This and the other scenarios predicted is what it looks like when a democratic people choose equality over liberty. The tragic thing is, we will end up with neither equality nor liberty, since we will have made ourselves into just another flabby and useless Euro welfare state unable and unwilling to lead, follow, or get out of the way.

But what an elegant class of mandarins we will have lording it over us!

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