Friday, September 19, 2008

We’re all socialists now

The recent flurry of multi-billion-dollar federal bailouts of major corporations rips the mask off one of the great American myths — the one that proclaims our belief in the free market.

Bull. We believe in a free market when the going is good. When poor business practices and greed on a scale that would make Midas blush create chaos, the titans of the free market cry out for Uncle Sam to come to the rescue.

When people seek subsidy for health care, that’s called Socialism. When giant corporations are subsidized, that’s economic necessity.

If the Right has any decency, there will be a moratorium on using the “S” word when debating any policy that calls for government intervention. With the Bush Administration presiding over the most expensive government intervention in history, even the most shameless paladins of the Right ought to blanch at the hypocrisy of complaining of creeping Socialism.

True libertarians, consistent in their beliefs, have every right to shout their anger from the rooftops — and they should be heard. It has to be admitted, however, that their American ideal is long gone.

Liberals (as the term is used now) don’t believe in the free market; they do seek a form of Socialism. So-called conservatives don’t believe in a free market either — they believe in managing the game for the benefit of the wealthy and powerful.

Who pays? We do. Who benefits? Not us.

I have slowly come to the conclusion that we need to stop deluding ourselves. We are no longer a Republic; we are an Empire. We are no longer the children of Adam Smith, we are the scion of Midas.

What is a citizen to do? I honestly don’t know. We’re riding the tiger. We can’t stay on and we can’t let go.

Jim Cornelius, Editor


  1. Jim,

    Thank you for bluntly pointing out the hypocrisy inherent in the financial sector machinations we are witnessing this month.

    Several "temporary" measures have been instituted today, curtailing short selling of almost 800 financial institutions stocks, and guaranteeing money market funds. Unfortunately, it is reminiscent of the "temporary" measures imposed on many of our civil liberties by Homeland Security in 2001. Different sectors, but similar Big Brother implications.

    I wonder how temporary these measures will actually be. Perhaps like the California sales tax increase, to pay for earthquake repair, which is well into its second decade.

    One cannot help but wonder about the timing of this regulation, considering that nothing was done about it four or five years ago, when the National Pyramid Scheme which was our mortgage lending sector was building its house of cards. Now that 150 year old financial institutions have collapsed under the strain of their own greed, our government wants to shut the barn door, and regulate how that door will operate in the future.

    Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson said at a press conference this morning. "The underlying weakness in our financial system today is the illiquid mortgage assets that have lost value as the housing correction has proceeded. These illiquid assets are choking off the flow of credit that is so vitally important to our economy. This crisis demonstrates in vivid terms that our financial regulatory structure is sub-optimal, duplicative and outdated."

    Such foresight.

    My point? Same as yours. Enjoy the ride.


  2. Brilliant post Jim. I was so hopeful regarding Ron Paul's candidacy...but alas, I fear that we freedom lovers are in the minority these days. Today, people want to be taken care of and watch things on their TV as they pass time waiting to die.

    I am a profoundly sad American.


  3. I agree, as we move to nationalize health care we are one step closer to socialism. Being on the "Right", I see the huge bailouts for the mortgage companies, securities firms, insurance companies and soon to be automakers and I see the same thing - socialism !! There are plenty of us on the Right that would like the markets to clean this mess up naturally. Instead we rely on the wonderful government to "take care of us". I for one am really tired of morons running the show in Washington. I put them all in the same bucket, the White House, the Congress, Republicans, Democrats and the occasional Independent. You tell me what some 6 or 7 term Senator who has never had a job outside the Senate has in common with us !! You know, the real people !! To be honest with you I am not sure there is an answer and I am afraid it may be too far gone anyway ... I know it "sounds negative" but I also know its likely true.

  4. Jim:

    I take exception to your gross generalizations. Not all liberals support Socialism and this conservative does not support managing the game for the benefit of the wealthy and powerful. The playing field should be level. Government should not intervene in the private sector to give advantage to any group or special interest. A free market society should conduct business without government intervention. This is not to imply that oversight is not necessary, it absoluty is. Fair and legal business practices are essential in a free market.

    The current and anticipated bailouts of financial institutions are primarly intended to protect people from losing their homes and insure that funds are available for legitimate and qualified home buyers. I’m certain many homeowners will benifit that were driven by greed and overextended themselves. I’m equally certain there will be a number of rich and powerful executives that will keep their jobs and perks because of the bailouts. Both are the unfortunate but unavoidable result of action necessary to prevent a repeat of the 1929 market callapse and resulting depression.

    I hope our government will pursue with equal vigor the prosecution of executives and homeowners who exploited the system at the expense of all of us. That would be a much appreciated example of equal opportunity in a free market society.

    Mike Morgan

  5. Any resemblance between the Bush administrations continual bailouts and "Ronald Reagan" conservatism is pure fiction.

    The term 'conservative' has been hijacked!

  6. More on this topic: How we became the United States of France.,8599,1843168,00.html?cnn=yes

  7. I have thought about your nicely written piece for several days now and about all I can say is the only change I have any ownership in any more is "anonymous little me"..Get more self suffient,grow more of my own food,get lean,and educate yourself on survival and back to basics as our false economy bottom is going to fail the people who created and bought into it.No politician or our current polluted 2-party system will "fix" it.Maybe we will see a "peoples party "in our lifetime but that again will be labeled an afore assembled party name..(unless it is PEOPLE'S PARTY@ MYSPACE>COM)!!.No.. I am no socialist or anything that remotely resembles a label.(except bad speller) Yes ..I am a parent that fears my children's future,whats happening in Sisters, America,and the world ..but as far as riding or letting go of the tiger? Hell Jim WE ARE THE TIGER! ROAR!!!

  8. What comes back to me is a line I first heard from Chris Smither (on the Bronco Billy Stage a few years ago) ..."I'm not a passenger, I am the ride."

  9. Print this...

    The Audacity of Liberal Censorship

    Tuesday, November 11, 2008 8:52 AM

    By: David Limbaugh Article Font Size

    The most unnerving aspects about the Democrats' sweeping Nov. 4 victory are their intolerance for dissent and their willingness to censor and otherwise suppress their opponents. Consider:

    We keep hearing that Sarah Palin's criticism of Obama for "palling around with terrorists" increased death threats against him, which is bogus in the extreme, but consistent with the inveterate liberal tactic of chilling conservative speech by saying it incites violence.

    Ohio state employee Vanessa Niekamp said she was ordered to run a child-support check on Joe the plumber, the man who asked Barack Obama an innocuous question about redistributing taxpayer income. Niekamp doesn't remember ever having checked into anyone else without having a legitimate reason to do so, such as discovering that someone recently came into money.

    Democratic prosecutors in St. Louis threatened criminal prosecution against candidate Obama's critics. In Pennsylvania, lawyers for Obama wrote intimidating letters to TV and radio stations that aired unflattering ads documenting Obama's anti-gun record.

    The Obama campaign complained to the Department of Justice about the American Issues Project's ad tying Obama to William Ayers. Obama supporters flooded Chicago radio station WGN with harassing calls during its interviews of conservative writers investigating Obama.

    On election night, Philadelphia police arrested a man who dared to wear a McCain-Palin '08 T-shirt at an Obama celebration rally. What's scarier is that the Obama crowd reportedly chanted with joy as cops arrested the man for exercising his freedom of political expression. According to the liberal worldview, arresting someone for disagreeing with you is not censorship, but implying someone is not patriotic is.

    Obama has made no secret of his plan to pass "card-check" legislation, which some have described as the most radical revision of labor law since 1935. It would permit unions to eliminate secret ballots — against the wishes of 78 percent of union members — which would represent a radical blow to democratic principles.

    Democrats fully intend to reinstitute the Fairness Doctrine, a euphemistically named regulation aimed at shutting down conservative talk radio, which Sen. Chuck Schumer has compared to pornography.

    Remember that conservatives have never advocated government action to suppress or censor the liberal media monopoly, which has existed for decades and still dominates mainstream media today. Their answer was the alternative media. But what is even more frightening than the sinister schemes of liberal politicians to silence and criminalize political opposition is the apparent eagerness of rank-and-file liberals to go along with them, as witnessed by the many examples I've cited and numerous gleeful e-mails I get taunting me about the imminent re-invocation of the Fairness Doctrine.

    I believe this arrogant attitude can largely be traced to the top-down indoctrination in our schools, cultural institutions, and media that liberalism is morally superior because it is tolerant, diverse, intellectual, and enlightened.

    This view holds that conservative expression doesn't deserve constitutional protection because it is inherently evil. As one liberal academic administrator said in justifying his Draconian action in suppressing a Christian viewpoint, "We cannot tolerate the intolerable."

    This self-blinding, superior mindset explains how liberals can accuse conservatives of racism for their legitimate political differences with Barack Obama while demeaning, with racist epithets, Condoleezza Rice or Clarence Thomas.

    It's how they can mock conservatives for being close-minded while unilaterally declaring the end to the debate on global warming because of a mythical consensus they have decreed. It's how they can demand every vote count and exclude military ballots.

    It's how they can glamorize Jimmy Carter for gallivanting to foreign countries to supervise "fair elections" and pooh-pooh ACORN's serial voter fraud in their own country.

    It's how they can threaten the tax-exempt status of evangelical churches for preaching on values, even when the churches don't endorse candidates, but fully support a liberal church's direct electioneering for specific candidates.

    It's how they can ludicrously depict President Bush as a dictator while romanticizing brute thug tyrants Hugo Chavez and Fidel Castro.

    It's how they can falsely accuse President Bush of targeting innocent civilians in Iraq when he does everything possible to avoid civilian casualties but demand our withdrawal from South Vietnam, which resulted in the massacre of millions of innocents.

    It's how they can advocate the banning of DDT in the name of environmental progress but be unconcerned about the untold malaria deaths that resulted.

    It's how they can oppose the death penalty for the guilty but protect the death penalty for the innocent unborn.

    It's how they can prevent the teaching of "intelligent design" in schools in the name of science but defend the many documented myths of biological evolution in public-school textbooks, also in the name of science.

    If you believe the left is tolerant, open-minded and democratic, you're in for a rude awakening.