Elkhorn Creek Lodge

Destroying the “Radicalism” of Reagan

Posted in obama, politics by Eugene Podrazik on October 20, 2008

It is capitalism that is the truly radical ideology. It is the system that allows any idea to complete in the free market. And, allow that idea, if good enough, to flourish. Flourish to the point of breaking down an old order or ordering that currently prevails. 

Socialism is the ideology that seeks to stifle social mobility. It seeks, through taxes and regulation to control the reach of a new idea. And, since those who regulate and tax, always represent an old guard, an established special interest, there is always a bias to stifle new ideas to maintain the privilege and control of the old guard. Socialism is just the an old idea, Royalism, dressed up in modern clothing.

There, in fact, is a very particular flavor to capitalism in the American Experience. Every fortune accumulated in the history of our Republic comes from inventions or ideas that brought things to the “common” man that were heretofore reserved for the wealthy and powerful. It is what Lincoln once stood for; policies that would give any individual the means and ability to work for himself. This is a little know aspect of Lincoln since his greatest accomplishment, one that overshadowed all others, was his shooting a lot a Democrats who were busy trying to defend the Royalist vogue of the time, slavery.

But, what is the difference today. Instead of overseers with whips, we have IRS agents with 1040’s to confiscate our hard earned wealth. Union card check thugs to “organize” our labor to the benefit of union bosses and their agenda. A cap-and-trade regime that will scrutinize every economic move by any individual. For entrenched interests with armies of lawyers and bags of campaign cash, the cap-and-trade commissars will be easily bought off. But, for the Joe-the-plumbers, what money will they have left for bribes when that has all been taxed away. 

What this election is really about, is the joining together of sundry elites to slap down the baleful, in their eyes, effects of individual initiative unleashed by the Reagan Revolution. The enormous amount of cash Obama raised came from a coming together of a lot of powerful interests that have an interest in using governmental power to protect their privilege and keep entrants that don’t meet their criteria from ever entering their country club. The “country club” Republican isn’t dead; they’ve all become Democrats.

Let’s illustrate the radicalism of capitalism. It’s a common lament, among the enviromentalists to lament the overcrowding of our national parks. Overcrowded, of course, with the hoi polloi; overcrowded with too much of you and not me. But, until the Ford Model T, the national parks were the exclusive playground of the rich. Yes, railroads greatly reduced the cost of transportation. But, only the rich could afford a railroad excursion to see our national parks since personal transportation was still a very expensive commodity. Then came the Model T. What Henry Ford invented was affordable personal transportation. And, thus, he entered the American pantheon of the very wealthy by making personal transportation affordable to the masses. Up to then, only the rich could horses, carriages and livery. And, the scum of the earth, with their global-warming internal combustion engines, horned in on the heretofore exclusive domains of the wealth; our national parks.

Were the personal automobile to disappear, the masses would be entirely dependent on transportation provided by the government. Public transportation in the form of intra-city busses and light rail. Amtrak. The airlines (with all the subsidies, they might as well be owned by the government). Of course, in their jihad against the internal combustion engine, such thought never crossed the minds of our elites.

Though it’s ironic that the now self-made elites that drove the innovations of silicone valley have forgotten their roots, their innovations, particularly with the internet, have destroyed the monopoly of the MSM to control information. I mean, what was Steve Jobs thinking to have Albert Gore on the board of directors at Apple. No, Steve, Al didn’t invent the internet.

Ray Kroc didn’t invent fast food; he invented the reasonably priced restaurant. Though, in the name of trans-fat, the folks in LA who can afford $30 plus entrees of free-range chicken are zoning out “fast food” restaurants. Rockefeller didn’t invent the oil industry; rather he rationalized it and brought forth cheap kerosene which, as a replacement to whale oil and candles, gave the average American access to cheap, safe indoor light. 

William Levitt didn’t invent the house, he made home ownership affordable, again to the masses. That is affordable housing based on what 20 percent down and a 30 year fixed rate mortgage could buy. And, note that homes in secluded suburbs with lawns are the subject of derision from the elite as “surburbia.” Yet, the elite have such living accommodations for the better part of a century; check out the Main Line in Philadelphia, or Lake Forest north of Chicago. 

Only the willfully blind ignore that free markets have done so much better for more people than any other system to date. Even if free markets haven’t performed to everyone’s expectations; they by comparison still outstripped anything that the socialist paradigm could have ever or did produce. Yet these elites poured 150 million dollars into Obama’s campaign for this September. Elites who greatly enriched themselves on Reagan’s economic ideas over the last 30 years. Clearly, these elites see a need to entrench their gains and to block challenges to their economic predominance. 

The Obama economic policies will have little effect on these elites. Socialism ossifies the social strata. Obama will have the presidential limousine just as the old USSR elites had their Zil limousines. It’s a classic example of “I’ve got mine, now close the door behind me.” To the elite and well connected there will always be all the accoutrements of a huge carbon footprint lifestyle. Large homes, expansive lawns, large automobiles, convenient personal transportation. No cap-and-trade bureaucracy will ever impede their business plans; they’re already on the inside. Rather, these bureaucracies will only serve to block out the competition of new people who don’t “belong.” And, these elites will have the tools of governmental regulation to determine who should “belong” to keep their club exclusive.

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