'Progressive' Is a Funny Name for Poverty!

The slogans of Big Brother's ruling party in George Orwell's 1984 included Love is Hate and War is Peace. Today's leftists unwinding the country back to pre-constitutional poverty call themselves Progressives. They are truly Regressives, but perhaps truth is too hard for politicians.

The original thirteen colonies encouraged using free-standing timber for energy to promote development; later governments promoted coal, then oil and hydroelectric power for the same reasons. That, along with promoting roads and railroads, provided for the industrialization of North America, the process that produced American wealth. Our Progressives despise all that.

The Progressives are reducing energy use and diverting resources from motorized transport, as Obama's Energy and Transportation Secretaries have said. Progressive regulatory, tax, and labor policies have been sending American industry elsewhere for a decade, devastating the Rust Belt -- which returned the favor by rejecting Democrats in Tuesday's elections. While their policies have been raising the costs of energy, housing, food, and transport, family earnings have been dropping, and unemployment has turned pathological. Unproductive government now pays its workers better than private industry can afford. Such policies, reversing those that built the country, produce poverty, not wealth; housing growth is foreclosed, and food stamp use is at record levels.

Russia collectivized at gunpoint upon the dead bodies of 20 million starved Ukrainians and moved forward with the addition of more millions wasted in the gulags. Sixty-nine years later, the whole thing collapsed from inability to finance itself; statist collectives produce wealth only for their leaders, by confiscation. As the Russians famously joked, We pretend to work and they pretend to pay us.

Europe went statist less formally after World War II via bribery of the electorate by politicians, avoiding the Soviet bloodshed. Voters signed on for the security they saw in government's social programs; government expanded to provide them. It's less than 69 years, but Europe's current debt crisis is forcing retrenchment despite voter unrest; the politicians are repudiating their promises because they can't find a way to pay for them. How that will play out remains to be seen, but the process is unstoppable; wealth creation has been in retreat for too long, and the money isn't there.

Columnist Jonah Goldberg recently put questions to President Obama in an article entitled "U.S. Following European Dead End." Goldberg asked, "If your philosophy is so great, how come the countries that have embraced it for generations are so much poorer than us?"

Goldberg also wondered why no one has asked Obama "about the incongruity of saying his policies have laid a new foundation for economic growth and job creation when the countries he's trying to emulate are trying to dismantle the very same foundations in order to survive."

With the failed Soviets in the history books and the failing EU in crisis from their statist policies, it's hard to understand the Obamacrats' blind rush into the same programs. It's said that those who don't know history are condemned to repeat it, but not all the Obamacrats are public school grads. It's also said that repeating an action expecting different results is a sign of insanity, but those Progressives surely can't all be nuts.

Some of the conspiracy theorists have advanced the notion that the Obamacrats intend to destroy the economy so they can seize control and remake the country with themselves on top. Another offering is the idea that Obamacrats are simply such true believers that they can't see reality. That may explain Tim Geithner and Ben Bernanke, but no career politician could last with that handicap impeding his backroom dealings.

A more likely prospect reflects the old proverb Who rides a tiger cannot dismount. The Progressives have ridden statism so long that they can't repudiate it; all they can afford is to keep riding so long as they can stave off public disaster, hoping that they will somehow escape before things finally hit the well-known fan. That one seems to fit the best, but that fan seems to be getting pretty close. The next act, though not much fun, should be interesting.

Progressive leaders, Republican as well as Democrat, have brought America to this point, increasingly following statist policies throughout the 20th century and rushing now like lemmings off a cliff in the face of the now undeniable failures of all the others. Those leaders are politicians; obviously, there is something in it for them. For the rest of us...just poverty.     
The slogans of Big Brother's ruling party in George Orwell's 1984 included Love is Hate and War is Peace. Today's leftists unwinding the country back to pre-constitutional poverty call themselves Progressives. They are truly Regressives, but perhaps truth is too hard for politicians.

The original thirteen colonies encouraged using free-standing timber for energy to promote development; later governments promoted coal, then oil and hydroelectric power for the same reasons. That, along with promoting roads and railroads, provided for the industrialization of North America, the process that produced American wealth. Our Progressives despise all that.

The Progressives are reducing energy use and diverting resources from motorized transport, as Obama's Energy and Transportation Secretaries have said. Progressive regulatory, tax, and labor policies have been sending American industry elsewhere for a decade, devastating the Rust Belt -- which returned the favor by rejecting Democrats in Tuesday's elections. While their policies have been raising the costs of energy, housing, food, and transport, family earnings have been dropping, and unemployment has turned pathological. Unproductive government now pays its workers better than private industry can afford. Such policies, reversing those that built the country, produce poverty, not wealth; housing growth is foreclosed, and food stamp use is at record levels.

Russia collectivized at gunpoint upon the dead bodies of 20 million starved Ukrainians and moved forward with the addition of more millions wasted in the gulags. Sixty-nine years later, the whole thing collapsed from inability to finance itself; statist collectives produce wealth only for their leaders, by confiscation. As the Russians famously joked, We pretend to work and they pretend to pay us.

Europe went statist less formally after World War II via bribery of the electorate by politicians, avoiding the Soviet bloodshed. Voters signed on for the security they saw in government's social programs; government expanded to provide them. It's less than 69 years, but Europe's current debt crisis is forcing retrenchment despite voter unrest; the politicians are repudiating their promises because they can't find a way to pay for them. How that will play out remains to be seen, but the process is unstoppable; wealth creation has been in retreat for too long, and the money isn't there.

Columnist Jonah Goldberg recently put questions to President Obama in an article entitled "U.S. Following European Dead End." Goldberg asked, "If your philosophy is so great, how come the countries that have embraced it for generations are so much poorer than us?"

Goldberg also wondered why no one has asked Obama "about the incongruity of saying his policies have laid a new foundation for economic growth and job creation when the countries he's trying to emulate are trying to dismantle the very same foundations in order to survive."

With the failed Soviets in the history books and the failing EU in crisis from their statist policies, it's hard to understand the Obamacrats' blind rush into the same programs. It's said that those who don't know history are condemned to repeat it, but not all the Obamacrats are public school grads. It's also said that repeating an action expecting different results is a sign of insanity, but those Progressives surely can't all be nuts.

Some of the conspiracy theorists have advanced the notion that the Obamacrats intend to destroy the economy so they can seize control and remake the country with themselves on top. Another offering is the idea that Obamacrats are simply such true believers that they can't see reality. That may explain Tim Geithner and Ben Bernanke, but no career politician could last with that handicap impeding his backroom dealings.

A more likely prospect reflects the old proverb Who rides a tiger cannot dismount. The Progressives have ridden statism so long that they can't repudiate it; all they can afford is to keep riding so long as they can stave off public disaster, hoping that they will somehow escape before things finally hit the well-known fan. That one seems to fit the best, but that fan seems to be getting pretty close. The next act, though not much fun, should be interesting.

Progressive leaders, Republican as well as Democrat, have brought America to this point, increasingly following statist policies throughout the 20th century and rushing now like lemmings off a cliff in the face of the now undeniable failures of all the others. Those leaders are politicians; obviously, there is something in it for them. For the rest of us...just poverty.     

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