Thursday, August 28, 2008

The Speech
A great show. The only thing missing was the lighting of the Olympic Torch

The speech sounded the usual Dem themes, albeit more effectively than the last two Democrat presidential nominees. Lots of promises for universal schooling, universal college, universal employment, universal health care and a brimful wallet for each and everyone (except for the rich).

There's a movie out right now that serves as the perfect counterpoint to the kind of societal and political change Obama wants to engineer. I.O.U.S.A examines the issue of the National Debt, of entitlements, of fiscal promises we are making to present and future generations that we cannot possibly afford. FDR's New Deal began our burden, LBJ's Great Society expanded it, and Compassionate Conservative GWBush's prescription drug provision further deepened it. What Obama seeks to add vis-a-vis Universal Health Care will be nothing short of devastating.

Amid all the fireworks and confetti, the most important image from last night's Dem finale was the sight of Michelle and Barack Obama's two children. For it is upon their shoulders that the burden of financing our existing system (and anything else Barack puts in place should he become President) will be placed. Here's something to think about:

Bill & Hillary Clinton: 1 Daughter
Barack & Michelle Obama: 2 Daughters
Joe & Jill Biden: 1 Daughter & 2 Sons (Biden's previous marriage)

6 children to replace 6 parents. Its a small example, but illustrative of the demographic 8-ball we are up against as we proceed into the future. In fact, the country's replacement rate stands at 2.1, which means we are just barely replacing our generations. Since our growing entitlement system depends on the funds from productive bodies, the twin horrors of an aging and static population are virtually upon us. Add to this a growing menu of ironclad government entitlements and we are legislating our own doom. But who knows. Perhaps Obama can defy our demographic decline and give us all everything? The answer to that of course lies with Malia and Sasha.

Yes We Can. But they will have to pay for it........


At 8:44 AM, Blogger Brian said...

What's the "Rants" plan for America?

At 10:43 AM, Blogger Granite said...

Depends on if I have to work with the present system, or start with a clean slate. That's the disadvantage any conservative or libertarian has. Just to get to a starting place that's meaningful means radically turning away from the Keynesian/FDR economic political apparatus we have entrenched in place, ie interest group politics competing for government cash payouts. Identity groups vyying to protect their fiefdoms and grievance machines. Any "plan" would have to blow up all that up first. We are nowehere near there and possibly we'll never get there given that the means of cultural transmission are firmly controlled by the machine's engineers. So long as our culture, media, and education systems look at each one of us as members of a politicized groups ("white males, women, minorities, working class, rich) we'll be stuck in the FDR/Keynes rut and fighting any left/right battles on that playing field. That's why George Bush gave us prescription drugs. Sure, drug companies were involved, but its still a government entitlement program. A Republican trimming to an otherwise FDR-style big government handout! It's still socialism if its a choice between the whole-hog socialism of the Dems and the half-hearted socialism of the Republicans.

So my "Plan" would have to start outside of government. It would have to begin with a concerted attempt to try and get more dissenting and diverse voices heard within the public sphere. A concerted effort to broaden the discussion and get more people familiar with the ideas and philosophies of Burke, Hayek, von Mises, Friedman. Be more knowledgable about Rousseau and Hobbes, Hamilton and Jefferson. Understand how one can move to shape people like an Andrew Jackson or an FDR, or approach to be hands off with the people like a Coolidge or a Reagan.

So long as these names do not readily roll of our tongue, the danger is there for us to become enthralled with the latest Change Agent and buy into whatever they're pushing.

Ultimately, my belief is that given an improved literacy of politicial economy and philosophy, people will know a broader range of possibilities available to them, and demand such possibilities from their leaders. Then its possible that from that point any "Plan" can be voluntarily chosen by the people. That's the conservative way. The people choose the Plan. Not have the Plan pushed on you by the leaders.

So is that an answer to your question? Probably not completely. But I say this for you to know the playing field from which I argue from and the playing field I would like given its share and due.

At 5:18 PM, Blogger Jack Diederich said...

Rants, you're hiding posts in the comments ;)

It is tired and trite to point it out but you drop a dozen names in your post and most liberals can name maybe two: Rawls and maybe Strauss (if they're trying to slam conservatives).

Err, actually I'll amend that to liberals who have never flirted with Communism. The Communists have actually read a lot. And learned nothing.

At 8:34 PM, Blogger Granite said...

Hey JackDied. I agree. The public's general literacy on political philosophy and economy is depressing. It brings up an earlier post of mine where I asked the question - do liberals know their philosophy? Perhaps PoMo denial of Truth has so eroded the foundations of liberal thought, the philosophic underpinnings have been cast aside and replaced with a noxious mix of fear, pessimism, and utopian religiousity. Or maybe that was the philosophy all along?


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