That’s a pretty long title, isn’t it? I suppose that if I had a more creative mind I could have come up with something shorter. But for now, this title will have to do.
Two recent articles by Thomas Sowell caught my attention and caused me to think about vote-buying, the price of success, and the killing of the golden goose. If any of you are not familiar with the works of Thomas Sowell, you need to visit his Website and read his articles at your leisure. Dr. Sowell has to be one of the wisest men in America today. If Thomas Sowell had been alive in 1776, the only thing that would have kept him from being one of our founding fathers would have been the color of his skin.
The first Sowell article I want to talk about has to do the governments efforts to “save” the housing industry. The government is doing everything possible to keep interest rates low and is encouraging people to refinance their mortgages and they are pressuring mortgage companies to renegotiate their mortgage loans. Sowell asks the same question in a variety of ways:
…why should politicians be riding to the rescue of the housing market with the taxpayers’ money?
We hear all sorts of sad stories about people whose homes are “under water” or who are facing foreclosure. But why should our attention be arbitrarily focused on these particular people, rather than on the many other people who would benefit from being able to buy those same houses, if the prices came down? The government is artificially keeping the prices up with subsidies and with pressures on lenders to accommodate the current occupants.
If anyone is especially deserving, it is those who had the common sense to avoid taking on bigger financial obligations than they could handle, but who are now expected to pay as taxpayers for other people’s irresponsibility.
Of course Dr. Sowell knows why our political elite do what they do:
Why are politicians so focused on one set of people, at the expense of other people? Because “saving” one set of people increases the chances of getting those people’s votes. Letting supply and demand determine what happens in the housing market gets nobody’s votes.
Nothing more and nothing less than vote-buying. Creating a clients.. In this case Sowell is talking only about the housing industry. But the same thing was behind saving General Motors and the UAW. Another case of rewarding poor performance and ignoring good performance. The IRS didn’t forgive $45 billion in taxes for Ford Motor Company. The list of this type of government behavior could go on and on.
America has paid and is paying a very high price so that our political class can buy votes.
The second Sowell article is titled “Promises and Riots”. Here are some excerpts from the beginning of the article:
…and politicians keep on getting elected by promising free lunches.
Such promises may seem to be kept, for a while. There are ways the government can juggle money around to make everything look OK, but it is only a matter of time before that money runs out and the ultimate reality hits, that there is no free lunch.
We are currently seeing what happens, in fierce riots raging in various countries in Europe, when the money runs out and the brutal truth is finally revealed, that there is no free lunch.
You cannot have generous welfare state laws that allow people to retire on government pensions while they are in their 50s, in an era when most people live decades longer.
So, the concept of wealth redistribution or as Dr. Sowell calls it “the free lunch” has led Europe and America to the precipice. The money is running out. In my opinion, Europe and America are paying the price of their success. With a few bumps here and there, the post World War II economies of Europe and America has roared forward. The political classes found it easy to play Santa Clause and buy the votes they covet so much. And while the rich were getting richer the middle class was getting richer as well. Life styles were improving and all was well..
Complacency set in and voters stopped paying attention; that is until a couple of years ago. The light bulb finally came on for many of us. Is it too late? There are many pundits that think so. I’m not ready to throw in the towel. However, at the risk of sounding like a broken record again, I repeat that now that we have been shaken out of our complacency, it is not enough to stop the progress of the liberals. If all we do is stop their progress, the only thing we will have achieved is to prolong the agonizing death of our great nation. To prevent the demise of America, we must begin the process of undoing the damage that has been done. It won’t be painless but it will be less painful than the alternative, the killing of the Golden Goose.