Sunday, June 19, 2011

Betwixt and Between

What accounts for the fact that Obama is in trouble with both the left and the right and the middle appears to be defecting as well? Isn't anyone happy with Obama?

The problem for Obama, as well as for Europe, is simply a case of affordability. We've run out of chips, as has Europe. Who is to fund all the largesse that the left dreams about? The answer -- no one.

Unfortunately, much of the citizenry of the western world now believes that things like old age pensions, health care, education, jobs, etc. are rights to be guaranteed by the government. But, who pays?

Taxing the rich and selling bonds only takes you so far. 100 percent tax rates aren't likely to raise much revenue. Bondholders like to get their money back. They won't get it back if they loan it to western nations. Bond holders are learning this now at a rate that alarms western politicians. Western politicians are already beginning to blame bond holders for their greed in demanding that they get repaid. What terrible people? Wanting to get their money repaid?

This is all silly. It is merely a question of numbers. There is no way to make this work. You could resort to compulsion (i.e. dictatorship) to level the economic status of your populace. Some form of government such as the kind that the infamous Soviet Union imposed on its people. That kind of political outcome produced poverty and stability, but at least there were no rich folks. Or were there?

If all you want is to eliminate rich people, that is relatively easy to do. If you want your average citizen to prosper, then that is an entirely different proposition. Giving people opportunity, minimizing the reach of government, and providing a rule of law are the best prescriptive tools to economic prosperity for any nation. Unfortunately, the US and the West have been busy for several decades dismantling the very things that created prosperity in the West in the first place.

Asia is not so foolish. So far, their leaders have not promised the impossible. They have problems, no doubt, but they have created nothing like the absurd expectations of the average citizen in Greece. The US and the West are in the middle stages of removing themselves from world leadership, both political and economic.

Obama now realizes, I would suppose, that his policies don't really work. I doubt that he would say this out loud. But, really? 9.1 percent unemployment at this point in the recovery. 1.8 percent economic growth? These numbers are unprecedented for an economic recovery. Failure is only a word, but it aptly describes the economic reality of Obama policies.

So, what can Obama do? Not much. He has tried his full panoply of liberal schemes and they have simply made things far, far worse. Even the most leftist citizen still would like a job. That's the hard cold fact that the Obama folks don't seem to get.

Meanwhile, Obama continues to lecture the rest of the world about how to run their affairs. Fortunately, no one listens. Obama has badly damaged the American economy and its future. He is now essentially an irrelevant force, other than presiding over the wreckage that his policies have created.

Perhaps, playing golf is the only thing left for this president.

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