August 19, 2009

You and America, Hamstrung!

The dizzying array of new legislation piling onto the American economy, both passed (the stimulus bill, the omnibus bill) and pending (cap and trade, and the pending government health care bill(s)) have garnered for the President a dual image. By the left he's been primarily viewed as working towards what he said he'd do - the exception may have been that unexpected gasp that maybe a government plan was off the table for health insurance. Looks like that trial balloon fell flat.

[NOTE on image: Source unknown]

On the other hand conservatives, and certainly many moderates see him as pushing way to hard, way too fast - launch the torpedoes and damn the consequences. There's a growing body of evidence that suggests the consequences could very well be quite dire. Unimaginable debt levels are around the corner. An erosion of another bit of freedom in the name of equality is in the works with the health care bill. That equality of opportunity and equality of outcome are two different things and define the very difference between capitalism and socialism doesn't seem to matter. In fact most people have never stopped to consider the distinction. It's an important one.

Historically, what made in turn Great Britain and the United States great, was the economic power that capitalism provided as an engine for the economy. Conversely the slow decline of Great Britain and in turn the relative (slow but accelerating) decline of the United States over the last 40 years has been the erosion of those systems with the slowly changing belief that equality of outcome is more important than the equality of opportunity. Such notions are anathema to individual liberty - who decides what equality of outcome means? Certainly not the individual. But it is the individual who is forced to adapt and comply with the results of those decisions.

As an extemporaneous example, suppose Barney Frank was put in charge of the health care equality department. Upon investigation he decides that accidental drownings put too much of a burden on hospitals in coastal regions. As a result he decides to push for legislation to outlaw water sports? Or further still any aquatic activity at all, including fishing and shipping? Entire industries in addition to individuals have just had their freedoms eroded. Significantly. And at the whim of a bureaucrat. That's not freedom.

In other words, as an individual, with respect to personal freedom, you are hamstrung.

To destroy or hinder the efficiency of; frustrate: "These worthwhile books are often hamstrung by unimaginative formats and inaccurate art" (Don Lessem).
Equally importantly, if not more importantly, the United States, as a nation is growing ever more hamstrung by the creeping form of socialism that the Democrats have incessantly tried and succeeded in foisting upon the nation since the days of FDR.

If the United States is going to continue to be an economic superpower - and make no mistake, if you want real freedom it costs not just blood, but a lot of money - then this incremental death by 1000 socialist cuts HAS to be stopped.

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