Progressive policies don’t work. Everyone, even Progressives agree that their vast array of policies and the programs they always birth don’t work.
That the provocateurs of these endless policy schemes agree that they don’t work is proven by the fact that these same Progressives constantly seek to revise, revamp, and expand every program they ever impose. If they were working why is there a need for continuous upgrades?
That Conservatives agree must be deduced by their rhetoric since they do little else except talk. That talk always sounds merely like tinkering with the system since the repeal of these failed policies seldom if ever escapes their lips, unless there is an election on the horizon.
If we now add the recently awakened, no longer silent majority, to the mix we come across a constituency that gets it: these programs don’t work. Yes, they may accomplish some worthwhile things in the short run, but are they sustainable? Do these building blocks of the corporate state build a monument to the freedom of humanity or do they instead build a prison for the human spirit?
Yes, everyone agrees the cradle-to-grave nanny-state programs of the Progressive corporate state don’t work. What we disagree on is the motive for their imposition and the remedy for their failure.
In the social sciences it’s impossible to run controlled experiments. Since the mice can talk they’re always asking, “Who moved my cheese?” And since they have a nasty habit of jumping over the walls of the maze they confound the best laid plans and preconceived results of the social engineers. For example, though the widely accepted social engineer Karl Marx assured us that the implementation of his programs would create a worker’s paradise the pesky workers from East Germany, Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria, Romania and all the other beautiful places his disciples managed to turn into hell holes kept jumping off the treadmill to nowhere. They kept voting with their feet and choosing freedom with every opportunity.
Consult the dustbin of History for the results. Compare the economies and lifestyles of East and West Germany, Mao’s China and Hong Kong, the USSR and the USA. Look at the stark contrast between the economy and lifestyle of North and South Korea. Bring it closer to home and compare California and Texas. There is no more fitting monument to several generations of Progressive leadership than the once proud motor-city of Detroit. The policies and programs of the Progressive social engineers have caused more misery, injustice, poverty, and destruction than Attila ever dreamed of or Genghis Khan ever accomplished. The Progressive secular saints have left a trail of broken dreams littering their path to paradise.
Margret Thatcher told us the problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people’s money, and I will add that the problem with our homegrown Progressive policies is that no one spends other people’s money as carefully as they spend their own. If the government confiscates ten dollars from citizen A, then takes a fifty percent administration fee to redistribute it to citizen B, how can that five dollars returned to the economy be a net plus? To say we’ll lose a little on each transaction and make it up in volume makes no more sense when it’s government policy than when it’s an example of poor logic.
In addition, in any system dedicated to the redistribution of wealth those who do the redistribution always seem to skim a little more than a little off the top. And while all this selfless redistribution is going on our freedoms fall through the cracks. Progressives talk much about freedom. They want freedom from traditions, and freedom from decorum. They want freedom of speech if that speech agrees with them. They want freedom to practice any religion anywhere at any time, a masque at ground zero for example, but no nativities in public squares or prayers at high school graduations. Check that dustbin of history again; the only Presidents in modern American History who ever rounded up citizens for who they were, what they said, or what they wrote were the Progressives Wilson and FDR.
So if we agree the policies of Progressives don’t work what is the dispute that keeps us from completely agreeing? Our disagreement centers on two things: motives and remedies.
As to motives the Progressives contend they want to help their fellow man. No one is stopping them from doing so. They could give of their own resources or volunteer at a soup kitchen any time they feel the need to create a just society. Instead, they want to force others to pay the freight for their ideas as to what causes and what people are worthy of assistance. This is usually accomplished by them keeping their own money in their pockets while receiving the administrator’s redistribution skim/bonus. Here’s the disagreement. It’s transparently obvious the motive is not to help but to re-order, not to augment the system but to change it.
Looking at remedies, the Progressive’s answer to the fact that their Plan A always fails is to try Plan A again except this time make it bigger. The remedy seen as purely commonsense to everyone else is Plan B. Take the current mad rush to insolvency as an example. We recently had a watershed election shouting as loud as possible, “STOP THE SPENDING!” And what does the Progressive leadership of the twin parties give us, more spending, more spending, and just for good measure more spending.
It doesn’t take a genius to realize that when you are trapped in a hole the first thing you should do is stop digging. When you’re bleeding to death the first thing to do is stop the bleeding. Just look at the trial balloons floated by even the most fiscally responsible pragmatists the media call conservatives: return spending to what it was under George II. That was unsustainable. It was merely a slower ride to the poor house.
What we need is real change: balanced budgets, policies that will re-industrialize America, an end to wars we won’t win, open borders, and an end to inflationary monetary policy that will eventually collapse our economy. Can we finally all agree on that?
Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion for Southside Virginia Community College. He is the author of the History of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com View the trailer for Dr. Owens’ latest book @ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ypkoS0gGn8 © 2010 Robert R. Owens [email protected] Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook.