Posted by: Debby Durkee | May 11, 2010

Back to basics.

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Back to basics.

A couple of totally different columns today that seem to me to say that it’s back to basics if we are going to save this country from a total unraveling. We must face the fact that the social welfare state is collapsing worldwide, and that we are not immune to it. Then, in a second column, it seems rather obvious that it’s time for the Republican Party to see that conservatives are no longer content to sit back and watch the party contribute to the never-ending expansion of government that has led us to this point in time.

The 72-Year Rule.

Randall Hoven over at the American Thinker website has an interesting column today highlighting the 72-Year Rule. He says we should have seen this gigantic collapse of the worldwide welfare state coming, and by his reckoning Social Security has about two years left. Scary thoughts, but we live in scary times. Let’s face it like adults, and quit blaming Bush and everyone else. You can blame the progressives from about 72 years ago if you like and those who followed them creating the massive welfare state we now see crumbling.

…The modern welfare state is collapsing around us.

If you had believed in the 72-Year Rule, you would have seen this coming. The 72-Year Rule says the lifetime of any social order or governing paradigm is about 72 years. For example, how long was it from the adoption of our original Constitution (1789), which sanctioned slavery, to the Civil War (1861)? Call it 72 years. And from then until the New Deal in 1933? Another 72 years. How about from the Bolshevik Revolution (1917) to the fall of the Berlin Wall (1989)? That would be 72 years again.

Do you know when the first Social Security check was issued? January 31, 1940.  If my guess is right, Social Security has maybe two more years left.

Generally, the modern welfare states were born in the 1930s. So the 72-Year Rule says the modern welfare states will collapse and/or turn into something else in the 2002-2012 time frame.

Kinda makes you believe in the 72-Year Rule, doesn’t it?

Of course, there are more immediate explanations than this rather mystical pattern recognition. The problem is government debts. Huge debts. Unsustainable debts and structural deficits, not just temporary ones to get through recession or war. And what is behind all these debts? The very programs we started setting up in the 1930s, our “social safety nets.” Feeling safe?  Snip –

And, what caused the collapse of Greece? Well, that would be debt. How about the collapse of the United States? Could that be in our near future? Well, time will certainly tell, won’t it?

…Greece was one of the more socialistic of the modern welfare states. The problem was debt. Debt caused by things like government retirement programs, government health programs, and government unemployment payments.

As Democrats and other “progressives” try to pen this worldwide collapse on the “free market,” please remember there is no such thing any longer.

…look at the U.S. Statistical Abstract, Table 1324. That table tells us how much various governments spent as fractions of their economies. The U.S., the supposedly “free market” cowboy of the bunch, had a government that spent 38.6% of its country’s GDP in 2008. The lowest of the bunch was South Korea, at 30.9%, and the highest was France, at 52.5%. Five countries, of 28 listed, spent less than the U.S. did, including Australia and Switzerland. Greece was merely in the middle of the pack at 43.2%.

And that was the U.S. of 2008 — before the Wall Street Bailout, before Government Motors, before Porkulus, before ObamaCare, even before Obama. Now, in 2010, the U.S. is not even considered one of the “Free” countries in the latest Heritage Freedom Index.

We are all forty-percenters now, essentially spending forty-something percent of our GDPs on government. And we’re all going broke together. A bunch of broke blokes cannot save themselves from bankruptcy by lending money to each other that they borrowed from each other in the first place. At least not for long.

He continues by going into specifics of which government regulations most likely contributed to the worldwide collapse. Adopted by both American and European governments – these regulations forced banks into lending practices they otherwise wouldn’t have done. Yes, it was that pesky government intervention, not the free market that led us to this precipice. And then there’s this:   

…The Federal Register of regulations was 2,620 pages (about two Bibles) in the middle of the New Deal. By 1992, it had 62,928 pages (about fifty Bibles). By 2002, it had 80,332 pages, or another fourteen Bibles added in one decade. Federal spending on finance and banking regulation approximately doubled (in inflation-adjusted dollars) over the last twenty years.  Snip –

So here we are, with our government spending the largest fraction of our economy in our history, and the party in charge of the presidency, the House, and the Senate is calling those who complain about that anti-government nuts.

Well have at it. Raise tax rates on the rich. Start a VAT. Do whatever you want. You will not get the money. You’ve run out of other people’s money. There is no more piggy bank to rob.

The American voters completed the transition of the U.S. from an entrepreneurial and freedom-loving state to a full-fledged sclerotic European welfare state, just in time to join the Europeans in their collective collapse. Congratulations.

And for your next task, make sure our downfall is blamed on “the free market,” just like you did about 72 years ago.           

I believe we will need a leader to go to Washington to throw out everything that has led us to this point. Toss out all regulations; get rid of a huge swath of government programs and the administrative state we discussed in yesterday’s post. If we’re going to get a handle on the country again, we need to start with a clean slate. That is most likely unrealistic, but we must think big in order to do big things. Read all of Hoven here:

The Conservative disentangling.

Then, there’s what Eric Ericson over at Redstate calls the “conservative disentangling.” He looks at the defeat of long-time Republican Senator Bob Bennett over in Utah by a Tea Party revolt in a primary race. As I said above, everything must be tossed out that has led the nation to this point in time. Conservatives have decided the label “conservative” does not automatically apply to a Republican. Take note all you RINOs out there. Big things are happening right before your very eyes.

A long time ago in a Washington far, far removed from present politics a man named Ronald Reagan took over and with him came hell . . . or at least that’s what everybody thought of the conservatives who came with him.

But with them came others who had an “R” next to their name, and to get the attention that came with the Reagan Revolution, they called themselves conservatives too. In fact, some were. But many were not. And of those who were, many got complacent in cushy Washington, and discovered they enjoyed being liked on the cocktail circuit.

Some got big egos and liked those Washington Post editorials singing their praises for bipartisan transcendence. Never mind that bipartisan transcendence always means compromising in the direction of the Democrats.

You see, the Reagan Revolution was so profound that the media developed a mental shortcut — Republican equals Conservative. The exception to prove the rule was the New England Republican, which is why to this day the media always laments the death of the Northeastern Republican (don’t mention names like Carcieri or Christie, it makes their head hurt). The media gets aroused by exceptions to fit the rule in ways some Senators can only get by knocking on stalls at Union Station.

Once the rule was in place it did not matter how conservative a Republican was or was not — and this is important — nor did it matter that one could start on the right and move to the left over time. A Republican was always a conservative.

That made it easy for Newt Gingrich to lead the Republican Revolution of 1994 and still be considered a paragon of conservatism in 1998 when all the conservatives in the House of Representatives were trying to oust him and moderates like Nancy Johnson were the ones defending him.

People change. The media does not.

Bob Bennett changed. He went into office promising to cut the spending and leaves office having collaborated in the fleecing of America.   Snip –

…when conservatives started being sold out by the Republicans in favor of greater government expansion, conservatives sucked it up. By 2006, the balance was getting out of whack, but the media so long used to the short cut of Republican = Conservative failed to realize that the tangled mess was starting to come loose.

What sealed the deal was President Bush’s actions in 2008 and the arrogance of people like Bob Bennett to lash out at conservatives for daring to disagree with the policy prescription of killing the free market to save it.

Ericson calls what happened to Bennett an insurrection, not a purge. He goes into much more that is deserving of your attention. It’s a long and interesting delving into what a conservative is and what conservatives have put up with for too long that they are no longer willing to put up with. It’s now back to basics, both on the political level and in the actual nuts and bolts of governing. That’s the only way to get the country back from the brink. Read it all here:


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