Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Keep Big Brother Out of Our Schools

The Kingston Freeman editorialized in favor of President Obama's speech to school students. I wrote the following response:

Dear Editor:

Your editorial about Obama's speech is symptomatic of a division in American politics that is intensifying. Your Tuesday edition is riddled with it. The United States was built on the concept that private initiative and freedom maximize social welfare and that Americans ought to be free from government violence. Of course, the idea that government can be "violent" when it compels payment of taxes is alien to those on one side of the divide. But because of laissez-faire, the absence of government, the nation became the richest in the world, drawing huddled masses even as real wages grew two percent per year until the 1970s, when the effects of government expansion in the 1960s and expansion of Federal Reserve Bank power in 1971 began to take hold.

In the late 19th century, in part because Americans were awed by the German university and sent thousands of bright graduate students there, America's elite began to reject laissez-faire and began to advocate centralization and government violence, i.e., forcible extraction of taxes, redistribution of wealth (supposedly in the name of equality but inevitably toward the wealthy), and a wide range of failed government boondoggles that benefit the upper middle class at the expense of blue collar workers and small business. For the last century, newspapers and universities thus have advocated state expansion at the expense of freedom, individual initiative and entrepreneurship.

Thus, Pierre Angiel experiences bad advice from a government office about a badly designed government benefit plan, and, defying logic, his conclusion is to advocate total government control over all benefits. Patti Gibbons writes about corrupt and incompetent government in Kingston. And you editorialize that people who disagree with the President's statist ideology are wrong to shield their children from him.

President Obama was associated with hard leftists like Bill Ayers, Jeremiah Wright and Michael Pfleger prior to his election. Other than this and his confused health care proposal, his policies largely mirror those of George W. Bush. In fact, his promise of change with respect to the Iraqi War and economic policy are belied by his reappointment of President Bush's Secretary of Defense and Federal Reserve chairman. The assumptions that have driven both Bush's and Obama's presidencies are that subsidies to big business via monetary policy, corrupt bailouts. expansion of failed government programs at the expense of America's working population, and in general, big business socialism, are essential. Along with many Americans, I submit that the specter of big business socialism that Bush and Obama represent is a threat to this nation. President Eisenhower, who was not addressing school children, made a similar point about the military industrial complex.

Americans are right to shield their children from President Obama's version of Bush socialism. America is a nation based on freedom, not devotion to authority. We ought not permit Big Brother access to the classroom.


Mitchell Langbert, Ph.D.
Town of Olive, West Shokan

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