Two parties, left and right, are central to good consensual government — one the perennial check on the other, both within the general boundaries of constitutional free-market capitalism.
Yet the hard-Left takeover of the Democratic Party has meant that there is no longer a credible balance in our system, as almost all the tenets of contemporary left-wing ideology are blowing up, imploding super nova style — unsustainable ideas that are contrary to human nature and demand coercion for their implementation, given that they are increasingly anti-democratic and have to be implemented from high by an elite technocracy whether in Brussels, Sacramento, or Washington.
Far too much is always seen as not enough: Greeks are angry that there was too much “austerity” and not enough of the old borrow and spend; Obama is blamed for only borrowing $5 trillion for too “little” stimulus; Democrats threaten to withhold from the community-organizer Obama because he was not hard enough on “fat cats” and the capitalist state; in California, a 10.3% income tax is too low, not too high. When the remedy is seen worse than the disease, then the patient is indeed terminal.
Let me do a brief survey of the fissuring liberal world in which we live:
All of Europe to some degree is democratic socialist, but some states–the PIGS, for example — are more so than others. So the current meltdown is a morality tale of those nations and regions that sought to stay fiscally responsible — say, Germany, Scandinavia, the Netherlands — and those that did not: France to some degree, and, of course, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Portugal, and Spain. Cite geography, Catholicism versus Protestantism, weather, geography, history — any cultural barometer you like — but the truth is that one workable paradigm reflects human nature, of spending only what you make, and the other does not.
The latter insolvent states now call for “growth” instead of “austerity,” but what intellectually dishonest euphemisms! The choice is really between “borrowing to spend” and “fiscal discipline.” Frame it like that, and would Obama be demanding that Greece and Spain “borrow” more and not be fiscally disciplined? (OK, yes, he still would.)
The liberal model — borrowing huge sums, rigging interest and the currency to enable state profligacy, turning large swaths of the population into less productive unionized government workers or dependents on the dole who vote in thanks to political hacks — simply does not work. How could beautiful blue-state California lose almost a millions refugees to arid Texas? I like Texas, but Dallas had far less of nature to work with than did San Francisco. (It takes a lot of human failure for thousands to give up verdant California to move to Utah or the Nevada desert.) What we are witnessing is nothing short of surreal: in the manner that Tijuana was a different universe from San Diego, so too the entire state of California is becoming a different world from its neighbors. Whether one examines its near dead-last schools, its oppressive income and sales taxes, its decaying roads and infrastructure, its absurd prison system, its dysfunctional state offices (try the DMV), or its priestly public employee caste, California is becoming Detroit.
Do any believe pre-Walker Wisconsin was more viable than it is now? Did union memberships of public workers soar after Wisconsin state employees were given the chance to join or not join the union, or did they dip precipitously among the very class who protested the reforms? (So is it to scream publicly against Walker and then quietly go home to quit the union and get your dues back?)
From Greece to Italy to California to Wisconsin to Obama’s Washington, the verdict is in: the democratic statist model of trying to provide cradle-to-grave benefits, administered by an elite technocratic class, using demonization to bully the opposition and redistribute income, not only does not work, but cannot ever work. Note that President Obama — $5 trillion in new debt, “stimulus,” millions added to food stamps, unemployment benefits vastly expanded, near-zero interest rates, enormous subsidies for wind and solar — never concedes his blue-state neo-socialism is not working (even though it is almost impossible to stymie the U.S. economy).
Instead, the tsunami did it. No, it was the Republican Congress that after 2011 stopped all the good things he did between 2009-2010. No, it was automation like ATM machines. No, of course, George W. Bush damaged Obama’s economy in the manner that Reagan could not do anything because of Carter’s legacy. No, it was the EU and its failure to spend and “grow” more. No, the private sector is “fine”; the problem is cutting back like Walker is doing in Wisconsin.