Monday, August 31, 2009

Work Is for Chumps

In the nineteenth century Americans were taught to rely on themselves and to build a better mousetrap. Although we were much poorer then, progress was rapid. In the late nineteenth century, although the average American was more than twice as well off as at the beginning, there had been an expansion of government related to the growth of big business (this began with the Dred Scott decision, which asserted federal power to regulate the states) and, in large part due to the expanding press of that day, the public saw the affluence of corrupt big businessmen like Jay Gould and John D. Rockefeller as resulting from power rather than innovation. While there was a high degree of corruption then, though no more than there is now, the solution would have been to limit state power to grant land and benefits to private companies. Rather than follow that route, big business interests, reflected by Theodore Roosevelt and his advisers in the National Civic Federation, including George Perkins, a Morgan associate and executive of US Steel and International Harvester, convinced the public that increased government redistribution was necessary for a properly functioning economy.

The result was a ten decade long reduction in the rate of innovation. But Roosevelt-Wilson Progressivism wasn't enough. Theodore's cousin Franklin shifted the rhetoric of progressivism by introducing the rhetoric of fascist redistribution from rich to poor. Much like the Roman system on which fascism modeled itself, the New Deal aimed to shore up the wealthy but to do so in the cloak of free bread and olive oil. This was accomplished using the ideology of Keynesian economics and state activist "liberalism". Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal was a recreation of the Roman model of a state controlled, replicative system. Thus, the innovation that occurred after World War II took the "scale" concept that the 19th century had discovered using free market processes and applied it to a far greater degree. It was able to do this because of government subsidization and stabilization of big business. However, there were two effects that the American fascists in the Democratic Party did not want but could not avoid. First, the system caused the rate of innovation to decline. While in the 1960s Americans could still imagine flying cars (as in the children's cartoon "The Jetsons") today we are happy to get cash for clunkers. Second, the system eventually caused real wages to stagnate as it increasingly reflected special interest pressure on the Federal Reserve and banking system to redistribute credit from the innovative to the government, banking and big business sectors. This was also accomplished through high taxes (middle class Americans now pay half their income to the black hole of government waste) as well as Federal Reserve monetary expansion.

The result has increasingly been that those who create wealth are poorly paid and those who do consume it are well paid. That trend has been present since the creation of the greenbacks following the Civil War, and was also associated with both the First and Second banks in the early 19th century.

The result is that people who work hard and create wealth have seen their pay stagnate, while those who play the stock market, consume resources through law suits and are on the government payroll have seen their pay increase.

The election of Barack Obama is a reassertion of New Deal fascism and we can expect increasing efforts to redistribute wealth from those who work to those who do not. This is not a trend that a small number of hard working people can reverse. Ayn Rand had the solution in her book Atlas Shrugged: stop working.

Anyone who works to produce wealth in today's America is a chump. Go on government welfare. This is a socialist/fascist state. Only fools work hard.


Charlie said...

Amen, brother. I'm a working guy, and I see a huge chunk of my pay taken out of my check each week to bail out rich people. I could start my own business with that money, but I have to pay to save the failing enterprises of crony capitalists. We are punishing success and subsidizing failure. It really pisses me off.

Anonymous said...

I've got to say your economics is totally messed up. Calling Keynesian economics "fascism" is insane. Only in America! Every other single major industrialised country in the world embraces the idea of a mixed economy and redistrbutive taxes, and this creates social justice, and isn't incompatible with innovation. Ever driven a German car? They managed to make some of the best marques.

I agree that the chumps on wall street shouldn't be subisided by the poor, but that's what you get in a country that treats the poor with contempt and the rich with reverence.

Mitchell Langbert said...

Yes, there are many fascist countries in Europe. Now, where was fascism invented? Was it in Asia? South America? Oh no, what do you know, Europe. What was the economic system that National Socialism and fascism utilized to temporarily boost their economies? Why...Keynesian economics. And who were the people cheering Hitler while he murdered Jews? It couldn't have been the French, oh my. It couldn't have been the Germans, oh my. It couldn't have been various appeasers in England, oh my. It couldn't have been the Swedes, oh my. It couldn't have been the most famous Swedish economist, the socialist Gunnar Myrdal, oh my.

Let me fill you in. People around the world, and especially in Europe, favored fascism. The economic system that backed fascism was Keynesian economics. If you don't know that, you're the one who needs to do some reading.

Now, why have there rarely been mass murders in a free market, private property-driven economies but frequent ones in Keynesian systems like Germany's, France's, Italy's, etc. and more frequent ones in socialist economies like the USSR, China, Cuba, Nazi Germany and Cambodia? It is because private property provides a basis for resistance to tyranny. Since tyranny has generally been fundamental to European culture, going back to the Romans, the barbarian tribes, the feudalist system, the manorial system and worst of all the Renaissance, when religious dissenters were crushed on the rack, it is not particularly surprising that (a) Keynesian economics fits the continent that invented totalitarianism (b) that the continent that invented Nazism, communism and fascism does not respect private property as much as we do and (c) the European economic system nicely fits the political tyranny that has characterized Europe for almost all of its history.

As far as social justice, the economics of Europe, the economics of murdering Jews, has little to do with social justice. It has to do with the corrupt greed of people who want something for nothing, a horrific society where hard work is penalized and thievery extolled as "social justice".

I have a suggestion: move to Europe. America does not need you.

Anonymous said...

Ha, ha. He thinks Keynesian economics, the vehicle by which wealth is transferred to Wall Street results in social justice. How funny.