The Then and Now of Things

With the two conventions back to back, a very interesting development has occurred that has been dominating the news networks (CNN, Fox, and the like).  Namely, the excerpt from the speech recently delivered by President Barrack Obama regarding his criticism of the Romney plan as last century.  “You could have watched it on a black and white TV with rabbit ears…”  something along that line.

In our quest to limit the role of government in America to both achieve a balanced budget (or at least achieve manageable debt), and to provide more freedom for the American people to achieve the American Dream, we must look at not just last century, but the last three centuries.   When we look specifically at the twentieth century, we see it beginning with the industrial revolution, which provided both jobs and leisure time.  While laissez-faire economics created such a drastic inequity even the conservative thinkers of the time submitted to the reasonable reforms of Teddy Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson, regulation got out of hand under Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal, the expansion of the federal government post Eisenhower, and again post Reagan, the multi-trillion dollar debt accrued and limited government is rapidly becoming a Hobson’ choice as regardless of any good argument a liberal scholar can conjure up, the bottom line is we just can’t afford these social programs anymore and the alternative would be national bankruptcy in which case the government won’t even be able to fund the military—the one service the Constitution does obligate the federal government.

If we are going to take criticism from Democrats for being twentieth century, let’s go back even further and look the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries going back to our Founding Fathers.  Before the industrial revolution turned people into employees and encapsulated many into union shops that led to the demise of industry in America, the majority of the non-rich were farmers.  Farming is harder work, sunup to sundown during planting season when there is no harvest to speak of, while factory workers had their fixed eight-hour work shifts.  But most farmers owned their own farms.  The pre-industrial revolution farmers were the first independent business owners operating in the American economy founded in 1789 with the ratification of the Constitution.  I understand the birth defect—slavery, and I am sure the American nation opening for business with legalized slavery was one of the deepest roots for corporate greed today with the legality of paying someone $0.00 to work for you.  If you could take slavery out of the equation, many would have started their own farms and earned the money as owners; even the slaves that would have become free men by default if the Founding Fathers wrote the Constitution differently would have acquired farms of their own, vice-a-vie the Homestead Act of 1863 would have happened in the 1790s to accommodate the afore mentioned.

With both the agrarian and industrial ages behind us, the information age can provide just as many opportunities if we harness them properly.  Farming and manufacturing are still greater than nil and always will be and both can still be expanded as well as what the information age can offer us.  If America can cease to become the land of entitlements and once again become the land of opportunity, we can have both a balanced budget and if not employments, jobs people create for themselves by opening their own businesses.  We cannot and should not take away entitlements for those too old to start over; as I once pointed out, the line in the preamble of the Constitution that states promote the general welfare means we have a constitutional obligation to help those unable to help themselves.  The rest of us need to earn our keep in this nation, and given a choice most of us want the opportunity to earn that and more.  With the high number of foreclosed homes nationwide, the fact that some places have resorting to tearing down houses to add supply and demand value to those left standing, and the fact that a baby boom equivocal to post World War II is very unlikely, the solution will ultimately come from not the twenty-first, not the twentieth, but the nineteenth century, with a new era version of the Homestead Act allowing nuclear families to have a free home in a residential-commercial overlay district under the condition that they run a profitable business out of this home and pay their corporate taxes, the criticism from liberals and Democrats that we are last century is not justified.  Studying the past, implementing the best of the past, and understanding the worst of the past is the only way to avoid repeating the worst of the past in the future.  Old-time grass roots values are a necessary ingredient in the revival of America.  For this, I commend my Republican Party.


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