Fabian Socialism, in its strictest sense refers to a group of Brits who sought to advance democratic socialism. The difference between the Fabians and other, less patient socialists, was that they were willing to wait while the movement moved toward their ends. The Fabians did not need armed revolution to succeed. The nefarious Fabians’ patience was their great strength. Like the frog in a boiling pot, by the time their targets had thrown away their freedoms, it would be too late to retreat. The terms “Fabian” and “Fabianism” in this piece refer more to slow socialist growth, rather than the original group, The Fabian Society, or its aims. And the author sees its current growth ensured by two poor, presidential, candidates.
This election is the quickest jump toward socialism, along with the least ability to avoid socialism, in the 21st century. Hillary Clinton reflects the most vindictive and dangerous candidate of our lives. Donald Trump reflects the most liberal and dangerous republican candidate of our lives. Her way is that of a European socialist – someone from a Soviet satellite – but with the Soviet chairman’s power. His way is a muddled, stumbling walk in the dark to find solutions.
While there were articulate, and better educated candidates in the republican field – Trump won the primary. For many, the choice is now between big government, or big government light. An entire movement has developed just to reject Trump. Conservatives especially feel abandoned. Hillary’s promised miseries speak for themselves. They listen to Trump’s words, and cringe at them, too.
Trump promises big government – although his is not flagrant as Hillary’s – his is through ignorance. He promises trade restrictions and tariffs to “protect American jobs”. What he neglects to consider, is its slow move toward big government (and central planning) that represents. Indeed, when has government installed trade restrictions, and made things more affordable?
How about Obamacare? Repealing or repairing it is still a pipe dream. Republicans in Congress just wring their hands. The naiveté that it takes to believe trade restrictions work, while maintaining freedoms at home, is stunning. Milton Friedman makes the claim that political freedoms and economic freedoms work hand in hand. When one ebbs, so does the other. Where markets expand, freedoms grow. Where the markets restrict, freedoms evaporate.
What about farm subsidies? They are further example of government meddling with free markets. Does the reader see what happens to Congressmen who dare toy with the idea of cutting them? The Congressman’s next elections tend to be rocky, and may force a career change. Those subsidies are there for good. Granted, the freedoms and profits lost are by overseas farmers, but they are gone. The foreign farmers have to grow something else, or give up farming, since it is no longer competitive.
The expectation of Hillary’s corrupt, train wreck, administration is as plain as day. The effect of protectionism that Trump promises means (unnecessarily) higher prices for Americans’ purchases. But it seems – the eight, Fabian, Obama years, taught us nothing. Make no mistake – Trump represents more of the same slide leftward for the GOP. The Reagan years are gone, but there is no excuse for continually embracing bigger government in the succeeding decades.
If you claim there is a certain amount of slow growth of socialism that is “acceptable” – you praise the light burn of the range element you sit atop. And it means a reduction in freedoms for Americans for ever. And that slow, methodical, boiling should have the smart frogs rejecting it, always. But some frogs will believe anything, and they likely think themselves more equal than other frogs…
In his February 16, 2013 column in the Guardian, columnist Will Hutton lays out the numerous failings of the British Food Standards Agency (FSA), which led to horse meat entering the human food chain. The horse-meat scandal may actually turn out to be two parallel mislabeling scams. Whatever the case, and as strange as mislabeled horse-meat is – it is not my primary issue.
My issue is with Hutton’s disgusting use of the scandal. Mirroring the penchant for American “journalists” who turn their columns and shows into personal soap boxes, Hutton takes swipes at right wingers in the United States, and he espouses the supposed ability of large government to function better than a slim and efficient one. Hutton especially takes to task a British politician who supported cuts in the funding of the FSA.
Hutton would have us believe a fully funded FSA would not have allowed this fiasco to occur. Indeed, an FSA, or any other governmental agency that does not receive adequate funding, is the cause for any accidents and other unfortunate mistakes that then occur. Hutton thinks that because the politicians, often times responding to their voters’ concerns, reduce funding to a bloated agency, they should receive the anger and onus of the press and people too.
Hutton so seems to dislike politician Owen Patterson, he goes so far as to make a personal attack of the man, referring to him as “one of the less sharp knives in the political drawer”. Hutton’s anger seethes against anyone he deems “connected” to the scandal. He attacks the large supermarket chains who seek to price food where the consumer can afford it, he attacks the stock holders of the supermarkets, he attacks right-wing think tanks in the U.S., and he eventually goes so far as attacking capitalism itself, saying it does not deliver the best outcomes.
Within those barbs fed by misunderstanding and assumption, Hutton joins so many of the American left, who hear the word, “capitalism”, and either rage or cringe. The cause of so much damage to people, the cause of so much environmental damage – is the dreaded capitalism. Never mind that it is also the reason there are 90 different types of bread on the supermarket shelves or that it is the reason that clothing is still relatively inexpensive and easily replaced — we must see like Mr. Hutton, that capitalism is inherently evil. Everything it touches, businesses, politicians, and workers are worse off, Hutton would have us believe.
Oddly though – the tax revenue that the capitalism structure generates that allows the left’s dream of bloated and inefficient government programs – well, that is the only good thing that comes from capitalism. Somehow, running the funds through the filter of government who then divvy them out, changes the funds from merely evil capital, based on worker exploitation, to a wonderful means to a social end. Again, in a parallel with the left in the United States, Will Hutton seeks to use a crisis to further the false cause of enlarging the government’s reach and its strength.
I find it interesting that while the right, conservatives especially, often find themselves fitted with the mantle of being a backward-looking anachronism, the left on both sides of the pond, seem constantly to recycle their failed policies of Keynesian spending and bloated government structures. A strength of conservatives is to not only look to history for measures that work, but to look back, and abandon and prevent measures that have failed. Perhaps the left should finally abandon the continuous failure that is Keynesian economics – but with as rabidly as some support left-wing politics, you have a better chance of having lunch with a Kentucky Derby winner…
“…and I want a fire truck, and a baseball glove, and a cowboy hat!”
So seemed to go President Obama’s State of the Union wish list. It sounded like Christmas with captive parents in the form of the Congress and a few Supreme Court Justices. Repeatedly, he went so far as to challenge Congress to pass bills, that he would immediately sign.
Interestingly, but hardly surprising to me, was the president’s line that the government should work for the many, not the few.
Why else was this State of the Union such a collassal waste of time for anyone who bothered watching it? Read more here for my thoughts and a few jabs…
(This post is written primarily with the goodie-receiving, hook-line-and-sinker, Obama voter. With that being said, I hope the people who didn’t vote for him think differently after reading too.)
Thank you, America. You have made it abundantly clear to this blogger, that the America we read about in books, the “Shining City on a Hill”, is no more. What happened? Well, with last night’s doubling down on the most unprepared, ill-mannered, and financially irresponsible president ever, we as a country, continue to move into uncharted territory. You have sought to receive something for nothing, America, and many of us realize that those positions and beliefs are completely untenable. Everything we receive from government is paid for – usually at an astronomical mark-up. And you would like more.
You simply cannot continuously bleed a source, and government’s been a very sick patient for a while now. You might remember not too long ago, the government needed another debt-ceiling raise. The debt ceiling was raised again, as the Republicans in Congress signed off, rather than risk a government shut down. (The media told us it is for the best) We cannot have the government shut down – soldiers and old people would be placed in bad situations. Is this why you actually believe the right is irresponsible? Is that why you think they politic too much – that they sought to slow or stop the unsustainable growth of government, rather than just keep spending like the left?
In your drive to keep up with the Joneses’ (who live next door, and receive the same goodies and Obama-phones as you do), did you really think that the president gave a damn about you? Didn’t it seem awfully convenient of him to turn the charm on again – after four years of non-stop whining and golf? I know, I know, “he seems like the kind of guy you might have a beer with,” right? I wonder if he also struck you as a guy who would pick your pocket and steal gas from your car?
You have your phones, you have your EBT cards, and now, with the election wins last night, you seem to have it all. I wish you the best of luck with it all. The government is perilously close to a financial cliff, and when the benefits (shiny trinkets) you prize so much stop arriving in the mail – who will you blame? The government of Barack Obama, who promised you the moon? Or, because you are his supporter, and that it could not possibly be him (and you) that made such poor decisions – will you move onto another boogeyman?
The refrain from voters, such as yourselves, is that we will just soak the rich – just tax the hell out of them, and they will happily sit there and take it, right? It’s not like they have the money to pick up and move, right? Your problems are many and your solutions are absent. The solutions that you think you have come up with, will not have much effect at all of keeping your goodie-train rolling. Last evening, you sought fit to abandon the best chance we had at seriously reforming the spending mentality of this government, only to continue with more of the back-breaking regulations and taxing-and-spending of the Obama administration. Basing your vote on your stomach (EBTs), your ears (Obama-phones), or lady-parts (the bogus contraceptives debate), in casting the votes you did last night, you probably did more to end those programs than Mitt Romney ever could have, and you have probably greatly sped it up too. Basing the Obama “goodies-math” on false numbers and projections that are not even close to where actual numbers are right now, will have results that become apparent soon enough.
I cannot say I am really that shocked, that such shallow and self-centered folks would vote this way – after all, who cares about the neighbors, so long as your checks keep coming, right? The easy amused sort do not shock me either – their lack of foresight is no as well. So, go back to your couches (or graves) whichever the case may be, and live in the moment, from goodie to goodie. You have cast the die…
Tuesday the nation goes to their polling places, and makes the most important decision they have ever made. If that sounds hyperbolic, it should not. The current president has shown himself more than willing to accrue bills and pass them on to future generations than any other president. This president has shown more wanton disregard for American life and liberty than any other as well. Obama, more than any other president, has sought to insert differences were there are none, incite hatred where there was none, and prevent the normal activities of Americans from occurring.
The left wasted any chances that they had winning a presidential re-election a few years ago. The people represented by Democrats, took a backseat to the left’s dream of massive healthcare overhaul, and the passing of Obamacare, with numerous legislative tricks, near-bribes, and threats. After the Democrat-controlled Congress forced Obamacare through, they held “town hall” meetings that scared them, as many of the taxpayers slowly began to learn of the implications of Obamacare: new, massive government oversight, huge new tax bills, mandatory compliance, just to name a few.
As if ignoring some of their most loyal voters was not enough, Democrats seemed to find all new special interests to kowtow to, with the Obama inauguration. The country saw massive amounts of money given to unstable businesses under the guise of support of “green energy”. Later the country learned of the owners’ and CEOs’ ties to the Obama administration. Big campaign bundlers saw money thrown at their businesses, even after it was known that the business models were completely unfeasible.
Seeing the old supporters’ devotion die away, Obama seems to have decided to build new coalitions – all with their own price tags, of course, but none paid by Obama, himself. Why would he spend his own capital when he has a massive taxpayer base to draw from? The green lobby, the illegal immigrant communities, and the newly built (and reliant) throngs of welfare and food stamp recipients. Threaten them with the loss of their goodies, and you have a reliant, reliable, voting base. If you can create more of them, than supporters that you have lost as a result of the welfare costs, it works out – it is a wonderful, government, pyramid scheme.
The left’s standard-bearers are often surly, abrasive, and falsely aggrieved. Harry Reid is happy to share rumors from nameless sources to smear Mitt Romney. Nancy Pelosi sponsors and supports legislation with unknown contents. Asked tough questions, both Stephanie Cutter and Debbie Wasserman-Shultz keep straight faces while spewing lies and feigning ignorance. Jay Carney parrots the same talking points he is given, usually not even attempting to answer the questions asked of him.
The president formerly campaigned on the transparency he would usher in – the most transparent administration ever, he promised. Asked questions about the most recent scandals, Obama tells us frequently, “It’s being investigated, and I cannot speak on it…” Then he sends proxies, like Jay Carney, out to the podium to say nothing to the press pool. The president has repeatedly balked at providing details on scandals, like Fast & Furious and the Benghazi slaughter. Instead of telling the American people any details, everything is an ongoing investigation, or that the records are “sensitive.”
If the country had a true, fourth estate, instead of a complicit puppet of the administration, we might expect some forced answers. Instead, many reporters seem perfectly happy to tow a party line for Obama, asking the lightest and most worthless of questions. The reporters want to retain their access to the White House, so it is best not to ask any tough questions that may endanger that (worthless) access.
Finally, the left plays a dangerous game with Americans when it comes to disaster relief. Obama visited Joplin, Missouri, but it was after a trip to Europe, six days later. When the BP oil disaster occurred, it showed the administration’s true colors. We saw the Obama response, finally, after 14 days of nothing. Just in the last week, we have seen the president’s response to hurricane Sandy. FEMA runs out of water, citizens are using hallways and stairwells as latrines, others in New York are rummaging through garbage for food, and Obama campaigns. For a president that espouses and so willfully uses the power of the federal government, to NOT do so in this situation is inexcusable.
If it is still unclear, my point is this: the American left is morally, and monetarily bankrupt. In their hurry to jump over each another to make their sound-bytes, and to score points against their “enemies” on the right, the left either sold or lost their souls. To gain the support of their new, special-interest friends, they abandoned their old supporters, the people who made up their fathers’ Democratic Party. The new, more progressive left, clashes with a pragmatic America, that would rather have jobs and income than welfare and hand-outs. The new left abandoned their old ideals, and seemed to become a fully Keynesian, tax-and-spend monster, whose appetite for “goodies” could never be sated. The left is now more excuse, than execution.
After Tuesday’s landslide, the left will face two choices: continue with their big government planning and spending (which they have attempted and seen wholly rejected by Americans, since 2010), or reject the past few years, and once again embrace some sort of pragmatic and realistic reforms that help the country as a whole, not just their friends and sycophants. Given THIS sort of rhetoric, I fear the left still has not learned its lesson.
When I am in the mood for some nonsensical, ludicrous, rantings and ravings, there is a very good chance that someone (or some agency) that embraces a left-wing ideology, will come through. This week, I was not let down. The left came through with a couple of highly visible, and highly questionable, actions. One of which is on-going, and currently in the legal system, and the other has received so much blow-back, it has already been withdrawn.
First, in response to Indiana’s new labor law, making Indiana a right-to-work state, a union decided to file a lawsuit. The International Union of Operating Engineers, Local 150, filed suit in Northern Indiana District Court, against Governor Mitch Daniels, Attorney General Gregory Zoeller, and Indiana Department of Labor Commissioner, Lori Torres. The union claims that they must be allowed to continue to collect dues from non-union workers, because the non-union workers also benefit from the union’s negotiations and receive similar pay to unionized workers (I think of it as a knee-capping being sold under the guise of “fairness”). While I understand that the union has to coordinate various activities and pay assorted administrative costs, when I see unions in different states, throwing millions of dollars at campaigns to recall governors, and donating millions of dollars to get “friendly” candidates elected, my empathy wanes.
It appears that the union wants the methods it uses to exact goodies from the employers, to be used on the workers as well. The union is saying that they need someone or someway to compel people to give them capital, so that they can perform operations. The Indiana law removes that compelling force, and makes unions responsible for actually creating a tangible return on payee money. Instead, the union wastes more money on a lawsuit that they are more than likely to lose, and as if that were not a big enough fiasco, the lawsuit claims without that compelling force, the state is acting in a manner that is tantamount to slavery. Citing the 13th Amendment, the union claims that they are being forced to provide a service, without payment, which is therefore, “involuntary servitude.” The union mentions too, that the new law violates Article I, Section 21 of the Indiana Constitution, because the union would have to provide their services “…without just compensation.” Yes, that is correct – the union is claiming that they are being made slaves to their members, since the members would no longer have to pay dues. Never mind the fact that the union can choose to not provide services to non-paying members…
The second liberal logical misstep occurred when it was revealed that the United States Department of Labor wanted to change rules regarding child labor laws regarding farming. For Americans already fed up with what they consider government meddling, hearing that the government wants to dictate to parents, that they can no longer have their kids farming beside them was a step too far. The proposal would have allowed for some older children to work around animals and equipment (banning nearly all teens under 16 from working around power equipment), but only after completing a new “90 hour federal government training course”, which would replace tried and true training from other entities (like 4-H). Farming families were shocked to learn that they now were at the mercy of the government as to the things that they could teach their children. Thousands of angry emails and messages later, the administration decided that, perhaps this was not such a great idea to waste their non-existent political capital on. Trying to spin the reversal, the Labor Department said they wanted to help “…protect the rural way of life.”
These two failures of the left to use some common sense and insist that their way is the only way, is precisely why a large amount of the country does not trust the left, or do they any longer accept anything that the left says with an open mind. The continuous nonsense that the left has tried to sell the U.S. for the past decade, has created a hyper-cynical and disbelieving public, which has had the effect of also infecting the media, due to their strong support of the policies. We now have a highly ineffective media, and a political wing, whether it may ever stumble on a good idea or not, that is not even taken at face value. The country now faces one large group of angry, entitled special interests, and an administration and press that reinforces their (incorrect) belief that they should be entitled. What could go wrong?
By now, most people have gotten wind of the “Occupy Wall Street” movement, and has been affected by its polarizing actions and beliefs. The protesters and their signs scream out at their collective outrage, and list their many grievances. While the movement is seen as something noble and worthwhile by some, by others, it is seen as a group of spoiled, petulant young people, intent on obtaining entitlements. Whatever the case may be, I feel as though there are enough fundamental problems with the “movement” that it lacks any chance to secure any of the real changes it seeks.
Too much diversity
Yes, there can be such a thing as too much diversity. In the case of Occupy Wall Street, signs and grievances run from: criticism of greedy, corrupt money makers, to the redistribution of wealth, to the high unemployment rate among young people, the elimination of capitalism, and finally, to the effects of lobbyists in Washington D.C.. Some media sources have even shown people dressed up in greasepaint and with torn clothing to resemble zombies. I am unsure what message that is supposed to represent – perhaps it has something to do with Halloween? To maximize their efforts, the group needs to focus on one or two main messages, and drive those home. As it is, the fractured, myriad concerns of protesters are doing more damage than any good. They must coalesce into fewer, more well defined issues to maximize their effort. As the movement appears now, it is unclear whether the protesters are anarchists (as some have claimed in the television media), socialists (as some in the television media have claimed), or just disgruntled young people, seeking a solution to the many problems the nation has run headlong into.
Pre-emption of the movement
While the original message may have started out of an on-line organizing force, in the last week, the protest crowds in New York have seen various other groups and “sympathizers” lend their support. During this spring and summer, unions saw governors and legislatures force their members to pay for more of their own benefits and retirement packages. In a well-publicized series of recall elections in Wisconsin, the unions were again rebuffed. The support for various unions may have never been lower, and along comes a popular movement of self-described disenfranchised citizens. The unions saw a golden opportunity to attach themselves to this movement and possibly earn back some support. Celebrities too, have seen fit to make appearances, and lend their support as well. These stars who “feel the pain” of the broke protesters, show up, and bring the cameras along. Suddenly, a photo op. breaks out, the stars swear that they know how the protesters feel, and the protesters are made to believe like these multi-millionaires and they have something in common. Cheap appearances for celebs threatens to undermine any messages.
The movement doesn’t have a leader
For a movement such as this, it strikes me as a disjointed group of people, in search of someone to lead them. Now, I am not talking about some fire-brand, urging the protesters to start chucking bricks through store fronts, but someone who can lead the throngs and either accept or reject support from those seeking to take over the movement. There have been a few scattered whispers that the protests are supposed to be modeled upon the Tea Party movement – which has no leaders, but is just loose nationwide groups – however, the Tea Party groups began growing and coalescing around the idea that taxes and spending were too high. There is the single issue that laid the foundation for a movement. It sounds as though many of the protesters are asking for more oversight any way — but government oversight is not what anyone needs at this point. Indeed, if people would stop and consider for a moment, government “oversight” lead to much of the current financial and economic mess the country finds itself in at the moment.
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