"When the people find they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic." - Benjamin Franklin;
"And when politicians find that honor and character matter less than buying votes and a constituency, that too will herald the end of the Constitution. When that happens we must work tirelessly to change their minds, or their occupation!" - Hoping The Blind Will See

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

What's So Hard To Understand?

Keep the Free Market Alive

If we lose economic freedom, we lose all freedom. Ronald Reagan foreshadowed President Obama's assault against free enterprise—even before Reagan became president. On Nov. 10, 1977, then-Gov. Ronald Reagan traveled to one of conservatism's most celebrated intellectual wellsprings, Hillsdale College, to deliver a blistering assault against economic socialism. Specifically, Reagan attacked government planned economies as anathema to freedom. The policy prescriptions he advocated presaged his historic 1981 and 1984 tax relief bills, a rare example of political promises kept. In his speech, Reagan stressed the importance of communicating economics in ways that connect using visual illustrations. Conservatives would do well to heed his sage counsel and follow his example.

Hillsdale College, Nov. 10, 1977:
You know, I say I'm delighted to be here and yet I have an uncomfortable feeling that I'm saving souls in heaven. You don’t need the convincing that I usually try to do when I'm speaking on this subject. …

But, if I can’t save your souls, at least perhaps I might impart some information here that'll be helpful to you in the communication that has to take place. In the campaign last year, there was a great deal of talk about the seeming inability of an economic system that has provided more for more people than anything we've ever known to solve the problems of unemployment and inflation. Issues such as taxes and government power and cost were discussed. But always these things were discussed in the context of "What did government intend to do about them?" Well, may I suggest for your consideration that government has already done too much about them—that, indeed, by government going outside its proper province has caused many, if not most, the problems that vex us. …

At the economic conference in London  several months ago, one of our American representatives there was talking to the press. And he said, "You have to recognize that inflation doesn't have any single cause. It's caused by a number of things, and therefore there is no single answer." Well, if he believed that, he had no business being at an economic conference. Inflation is caused by one thing, and it has one answer. It's caused by government spending more than government takes in, and it will go away when government stops doing that, and not before. …

I know that this is called the "Ludwig von Mises Series." But do you know that before I knew that I had a line that I intended to give you? It's a quote of his, if you haven't heard it. Ludwig von Mises said, "Government is the only agency that can take a perfectly useful commodity like paper, smear it with some ink and render it absolutely useless." Sometimes I think that government fits that old-fashioned definition of a baby: An alimentary canal with an appetite at one end and no sense of responsibility at the other.

There are 73 million of us working and earning in the private sector. We support ourselves and our dependents. We support, in addition, 81 million other Americans totally dependent on tax dollars for their year-round living. Now it's true that 15 million of those are public employees and they also pay taxes, but their taxes are simply a return to government of that first had to be taken from the 73 million. I say this to emphasize that the people working and earning in the private sector are the only resource that
government has. …

And yet even among us who perhaps believe that way, we have fallen into the habit of when something goes wrong—that saying, "There ought to be a law." Sometimes I think there ought to be a law against saying "there ought to be a law." A German statesman, Bismarck, said, "If you like sausages and laws, you should never watch either one of them being made."

It's difficult to understand the ever increasing number of intellectuals the goals of academia—present company excepted—who contend that our system could be improved by the adoption of some of the features of socialism. It isn't that these eminent scholars are ignorant; it's just that they know a number of things that aren't true. …

But we're so used to talking billions. Does anyone realize how much a single billion is? A billion minutes ago Christ was walking on this earth. A billion hours ago our ancestors lived in caves, and it's questionable as to whether they'd discovered the use of fire. A billion dollars ago was 19 hours in Washington, D.C. And it'll be another billion in the next 19 hours, and every 19 hours until they adopt a new budget at which time it'll be almost a billion and a half. But let me really paint the picture for you. If you gentlemen sent your wives out on a shopping spree and gave them each a billion dollars and told them not to spend more than a thousand dollars a day, they won’t be home for 3,000 years.

But, you know, if you lose your economic freedom, you lose your political freedom, all freedom. Freedom is something that cannot be passed on in the blood stream or genetically. And it's never more than on generation away from extinction. Every generation has to learn how to protect and defend it, or it's gone and gone for a long, long time. …

You know, it has been said that politics is the second-oldest profession, and I've come to realize over the last few years, it bears a great similarity to the first. … It's time we recognized that the system, no matter what our problems are, has never failed us once. Every time we have failed the system, usually by lacking faith in it, usually by saying we have to change and do something else. •  - Excerpted from TownHall Magazine, August Issue.
Wynton Hall is a visiting fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University and the owner of Wynton Hall & Co., a celebrity ghostwriting and speechwriting agency.

Kinda Puts A Trillion Dollars Into Perspective, Doesn't It? Now What About 13 Trillion? Don't You Agree Government Is Out Of Control? Vote Them Out And Vote In Fiscally Responsible People From Today Forward! And For God's Sake Congress, Stop Making Laws Because You Think You're Supposed To...

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  1. Ronald Reagan...my favorite.

    Sure do love all the goodies on your sidebar.

    Very nice blog you have here.