By ‘we’, I mean the collective populace of the country. The term ‘collective’ has a certain irony as we become a more socialistic nation, by the way, but I digress. The germ of this thought came about from two of my readings this morning concerning the issue of the potential Detroit bailout. The first was the transcript of the Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) appearance on CNN Late Edition with Wolf Blitzer (Rep Charles Rangel (D-NY) was on as well.).
The second was an article at NRO by Michael Barone.
The US automakers have allowed union demands to price them out of the market. Now we see the results of this blackmail. A free market that will allow a business to reach the heights of success must also allow it to fail. To do otherwise negates the concept of a free market and will ensure mediocrity. If the automakers fail and go into bankruptcy, so be it. Actions have consequences. GM, Ford, and Chrysler; the unions and their members, shareholders, enablers in government – all bear responsibility. Creative destruction demands that efficient entities will arise from the failed remnants. First, we must allow failure.One way to frame the argument is to ask the question “Do we want to achieve short-term or long-term benefit from our actions?” To put it another way, do we want instant or delayed gratification? This is at the heart of the nation’s political choices, and our recent track record does not bode well for the outcome of the proposed bailout or any other weighty matter our elected leaders will choose to consider. Our tendencies are illustrated in our current financial crisis, brought about by individuals who borrowed money they could not afford to repay , institutions who gained short-term profits by making the irresponsible loans, and legislative enablers who made it possible – and then shifted blame when the consequences appeared.
The Republican Party has sometimes been termed the ‘adult party’, because of its reliance on principles. Mature and disciplined behavior is characterized by a focus on the long term, delays gratification for a more beneficial result later, and is no stranger to sacrifice. The Democratic Party, on the other hand, is a party of ‘right now’, ready to pander to man’s baser instincts. A focus on short-term benefits will cause us to lurch from crisis to crisis in an incoherent manner. Incoherent in terms of adhering to any principles other than instant gratification and pain avoidance, that is. The failure to accept the consequences of a course of action cannot be deferred indefinitely.
In the discussion between Blitzer, Rangel, and Blackburn, I could not discern any reliance on principle towards addressing the issue. I did find a lot of concern for pain avoidance, however. Barone brings up the demographics behind the Obama victory with the overwhelming support of the under 30 segment. We have done a poor job in raising that generation, eh? The Modern Liberal education system and our inattention have reaped its own consequences.
Do we have the ability to do the ‘adult thing’ with regard to current and coming issues? With Democratic control of government, I fear delayed gratification will be in abeyance for the next couple of years and pandering to the baser part of human nature will abound. I’m sure mine will not be a lone voice crying in the wilderness, but how many of the under-30 demographic can I get to join me?