The View From 1776
Thursday, July 17, 2008
Change We Really Need
If Senator Obama’s magic change-wand truly works, the change we need is eradication from our society of the degraded and debauched ethos of liberal-progressive-socialism that led us to inflation and near collapse of financial markets.
It is currently fashionable for liberal commentators to denounce capitalist free markets as the culprit in the housing bubble collapse. That amounts to blaming the existence of law and a judicial system for causing crime.
When massive government intervention wildly distorts the signals and incentives in commercial, industrial, and financial markets, blame lies with the government. In the present crisis, blame attaches principally to nearly unbroken deficit spending since 1929, financed by the Federal Reserve’s expansion of the money supply faster than increases in real production.
Add to this government incentives for citizens to consume goods and services faster than they produce them.
The beginning of this ethos was in the 1930s New Deal, but it really took hold after the 1960s and 70s student activism and the riots and burnings of our major cities.
Federal deficit spending and deliberate, massive inflation (i.e., devaluing the dollar) were the New Deal’s methods of choice in its destructive and completely unsuccessful effort to end the Depression.
The secular religion of liberal-progressive-socialism, imposed upon us in the 1930s New Deal, holds forth the utopian promise of heaven on earth, in a political society characterized by plenty for all, peace, and social harmony. To attain this secular paradise, we had only to abandon Judeo-Christian morality and to place our fate in the hands of the academic theorists who peopled the 1930s Roosevelt administration, his socialist Brain Trust.
The generation who survived the Depression and World War II were slow to abandon the Judeo-Christian ethos that had been the unwritten constitution of the United States for its entire past history. After the 1960s and 70s, however, when more people attended college than ever before, socialist secularity became the nation’s dominant belief, inculcated by liberal-progressive educators.
Increasingly the public came to believe that it should be possible to get immediately whatever was desired, without the need first to work and save for it. That is the essence of President Franklin Roosevelt’s socialistic program he called our “Second Bill of Rights.”
By 1944, when he began his fourth term (he was the only President unconstrained by the traditional limit of two terms), President Roosevelt candidly acknowledged in his State of the Union message that the New Deal welfare state was not part of the original Constitutional government of the United States and that the Constitution had never been amended, in accordance with the express provision of Article V, to legitimize the welfare state:
We have accepted, so to speak, a second Bill of Rights under which a new basis of security and prosperity can be established for all