So Why the Economic Malaise?

Things ain’t right in the USA.  Polls indicate that well over 60% of respondents believe that the country is headed in the wrong direction.  Congress has an approval rating stuck in the low teens and the President’s general approval rating is significantly below the 50% mark and even lower when it comes to his management of the economy.

A recent article by F.H. Buckley in the September edition of The American Spectator lists some disturbing revelations regarding our precipitous economic decline in recent years. For the 60 years prior to 2007, he points out, America enjoyed GDP (Gross Domestic Product) increases of 3 to 4 percent a year, but during the period 2008 to 2013 we have seen average increases of 0.73 percent with less than 2 percent annual growth over the last three years.  And, he adds, after a recession there is supposed to be a recovery, but over the last four years America has experienced “its worst four consecutive growth years since the Bureau of Economic Analysis started compiling data in the 1930’s.

“Hope and change” has brought a stultifying aura of depression and stagnation, resulting in great part from a wave of central planning accompanied by a tsunami of regulatory activity, cronyism and corruption that has thoroughly derailed the American economic engine.  Capitalism is what built America’s wealth, fueled by an entrepreneurial spirit and exemplified by what author George Gilder has labeled “the Information Theory”.

In his latest book, Knowledge and Power: The Information Theory of Capitalism and How It Is Revolutionizing Our World, Mr. Gilder carefully explains that an economy built on equilibrium and order (through state intervention) will turn stagnant without “the surprises of enterprise” introduced as entrepreneurial startup businesses that must be allowed to succeed or fail and go bankrupt on their own merit; “otherwise there is no yield of knowledge and thus no production of wealth”.  Therefore, freedom and creativity are indispensable components needed to create a prosperous society.

One has only to reflect for a few moments on the overwhelming attempts by the current administration to force the square peg of the economy into the round hole created by its Marxist-oriented attempt to reshape our country through massive government overreach, before beginning to comprehend that we are not only on the wrong path to prosperity, but closing in on the destruction of our way of life.

In the August edition of National Review, Kevin D. Williamson lambasted the Obama regime by concluding that, “In total, it amounts to that fundamental transformation of American society that President Obama promised as a candidate: but instead of the new birth of hope and change, it is the transformation of a constitution republic operating under laws passed by democratically accountable legislators into a servile nation under the administration of an unaccountable administrative state”.

Further complicating the recovery of our economy is the “misrule of law”, as Mr. Gilder so accurately describes it, that has so thoroughly undermined the concepts of stable property rights and enforceable promises through contract law.  “Wealth doesn’t come from the stuff people own”, he insists, “the oil reserves, minerals, and real estate – but from the promise of a future earnings stream from those assets”.

He goes on to highlight the looming disaster when “that earnings stream will run dry when it can be diverted by trial lawyers and corrupt politicians” – of which we are unfortunately well supplied.

The failures of the Progressive ideology as enforced by the Democratic Party over the past four years and counting are crystal clear by now.  If America is to continue, then true change must come about and there is no better time to begin than with the upcoming midterm elections.  I recently read a dire view of that future event that predicted that we can elect whomever we want to send to Washington, but once they get there they will be told what to do.

I prefer not to believe that our country has sunk so far; but unless we insist on choosing more wisely on who we elect to represent us our problems will persist and flourish.  That means, in my book, that we should simply not be reelecting 90 percent of the incumbents during any elections at any level, but instead diligently pursue candidates of good moral and ethical character who attend not the party line but rather the concepts of freedom, industry and innovation.



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