Calling A Spade A Bloody Shovel

The full text:

If I wanted America to fail…

To follow, not lead; to suffer, not prosper; to despair, not dream…

I’d start with energy.

I’d cut off America’s supply of cheap, abundant energy. I couldn’t take it by force. So, I’d make Americans feel guilty about using the energy that heats their homes, fuels their cars, runs their businesses, and powers their economy.

I’d make cheap energy expensive, so that expensive energy would seem cheap.

I would empower unelected bureaucrats to all but outlaw America’s most abundant sources of energy. And after banning its use in America, I’d make it illegal for American companies to ship it overseas.

If I wanted America to fail…

I’d use their schools to teach one generation of Americans that their factories and their cars will cause a new Ice Age, and I’d muster a straight face so I could teach the next generation that they’re causing Global Warming.

And when it’s cold out, I’d call it Climate Change instead.

I’d imply that America’s cities and factories could run on wind power and wishes. I’d teach children how to ignore the hypocrisy of condemning logging, mining and farming—while having roofs over their heads, heat in their homes and food on their tables. I would never teach children that the free market is the only force in human history to uplift the poor, establish the middle class and create lasting prosperity.

Instead, I’d demonize prosperity itself, so that they will not miss what they will never have.

If I wanted America to fail…

I would create countless new regulations and seldom cancel old ones. They would be so complicated that only bureaucrats, lawyers and lobbyists could understand them. That way small businesses with big ideas wouldn’t stand a chance—and I would never have to worry about another Thomas Edison, Henry Ford or Steve Jobs.

I would ridicule as “flat earthers”, those who urge them to lower energy costs by increasing supply. And when the evangelists of common sense try to remind people about the laws of supply and demand, I’d enlist a sympathetic media to drown them out.

If I wanted America to fail…

I would empower unaccountable bureaucracies seated in a distant capital to bully Americans out of their dreams and their property rights. I’d send federal agents to raid guitar factories for using the wrong kind of wood; I’d force homeowners to tear down their own homes, built on their own land.

I’d make it almost impossible for farmers to farm, miners to mine, loggers to log, and builders to build.

Because I don’t believe in free markets, I’d invent false ones. I’d devise fictitious products—like carbon credits—and trade them in imaginary markets. I’d convince people that this would create jobs and be good for the economy.

If I wanted America to fail, for every concern, I’d invent a crisis; and for every crisis, I’d invent the cause; like shutting down entire industries and killing tens of thousands of jobs… in the name of saving spotted owls. And when everyone learned the stunning irony—that the owls were victims of their larger cousins and not people—it would already be decades too late.

If I wanted America to fail, I’d make it easier to stop commerce than to start it, easier to kill jobs than create them, more fashionable to resent success than to seek it. When industries seek to create jobs, I’d file lawsuits to stop them, and then I’d make taxpayers pay—for my lawyers.

If I wanted America to fail, I would transform the environmental agenda from a document of conservation to an economic suicide pact. I would concede entire industries to our economic rivals by imposing regulations that cost trillions. I would celebrate those who preach environmental austerity in public while indulging a lavish lifestyle in private. I’d convince Americans that Europe has it right, and that America has it wrong.

If I wanted America to fail… I would prey on the goodness and the decency of ordinary Americans. I would only need to convince them—that all of this is for the greater good.

If I wanted America to fail, I…

I suppose I wouldn’t change a thing.

Any comment from me would be superfluous.

This entry was posted in Libertarianism, United States of America. Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to Calling A Spade A Bloody Shovel

  1. Kitler says:

    If I wanted America to fail I would elect a Kenyan.

  2. izen says:

    If I wanted America to fail…
    I’d allow banks, financial businesses and large corporations to act with minimal regulation, increasing their leverage ratio and making stock manipulation more profitable than product manufacture.
    I’d allow the export of production to authoritarian Asian states which kept worker rights and wages low.

    The resulting crisis of the banking and manufacturing system would then require government bailout to prevent a total collapse so that the toxic errors of the system were perpetuated rather than cured…

    But that has already been done! -grin-

    Why is it that I’m suddenly reminded of a quote from the first chapter of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit?

    You could always tell what a Baggins would say on any given question without the bother of asking him.

    …nope: can’t think why – Oz 🙄

  3. meltemian says:

    Thanks for posting this Oz’, I spotted it yesterday on JoNova’s site and meant to pass it on but got sidetracked. I’m awaiting Dr Dave’s comments with interest!

  4. Dr. Dave says:

    This is an incredibly powerful and amazingly accurate video. The producers crammed a lot into 4 minutes and 39 seconds. I don’t disagree with any of it. Limbaugh played portions of this on his show yesterday. Hopefully more will see this.

    I could certainly expand the list. If I wanted America to fail I would…

    …make as much of the population dependent upon government entitlement programs as possible.

    …eliminate federal income tax liability for 51% of the population (currently it is about 48%).

    …attempt to nationalize the healthcare system (1/6 of the economy) thereby transferring ultimate control of the health of the populace to centralized (i.e. statist) government control.

    …attack and try to erode the Constitution. Try to control all political discourse by changing the 1st amendment (which the Democrats have recently proposed). Gut the 2nd amendment and disarm the population under the guise of “public safety.” Attenuate states’ rights by ignoring the 10th amendment.

    …corrupt the voting process with voter fraud and gerrymandering.

    …assure that the youth are thoroughly indoctrinated with Marxist ideals from grade school through graduate school. Stop teaching the nation’s history and culture. Stop teaching critical thinking and replace it with socialist ideology. “Dumb down” the younger generations by making the public school system and universities an utter shambles.

    …gin up racial strife and class warfare.

    …establish and expand on an oppressive and unfair progressive taxation system whereby the top 10% of wage earners pay 70% of all federal income tax. Raise capital gains taxes to discourage investment and job creation.

    …prop up businesses that should fail with taxpayer money to secure political advantage under the guise of global financial stability (e.g. GM, Chrysler, AIG, Goldman-Sachs).

    …assume unprecedented regulatory control of the financial and insurance industries.

    …assume complete regulatory control over the means of food production. Go for potable water next.

    …expand public and private sector unions to stifle international competition and destroy the the budgets of federal, state and local governments with utterly unsustainable pension liabilities.

    …silence the voices of dissent.

    These are just a few. I’m sure you can think of many more. If the federal government manages to gain complete control of the medical industry, the energy industry, the food industry, the manufacturing sector and the financial sector they will quite literally control about 75% of the entire US economy…all controlled by politicians and bureaucrats in Washington DC. The problem is that we have a glut of idiots in this country who think this crap and socialism in general is a good idea. One of my nagging fears is the bloated bureaucracy of the federal government and the public’s addiction to government entitlements (which should be called “welfare”).

  5. meltemian says:

    Sounds just like the UK, most of that has already happened there!

  6. Kitler says:

    You could also add use affirmative action to staff your government departments and exclude the majority of the population from those jobs.

  7. izen says:

    @- Ozboy
    “You could always tell what a Baggins would say on any given question without the bother of asking him.”

    Yes, dogmatism engenders predictability!

    Perhaps it would be more useful to point out that the sort of polemical oratory, or whatever the modern media equivalent is, has very limited impact with those who do not share its world-view or underlying ideology. The same response to have to my ‘stereotype’ talking points is the response other might have to the points and claims made in the elegy for the US.

    It only ‘makes sense’ or is persuasive if you hold specific beliefs in certain axioms about human institutions, civic governance and ethical principles. The common phrases for this are ‘dog whistle’ politics, or preaching to the choir.
    Those holding matching views enjoy the confirmation bias. Those holding different views recognise the appeal to concepts without evidential support or acknowledgement of the uncertainty of its reality. And are irritated by its lack of rigour.

    It’s preaching, a call to the collective of individuals who hold compatible dogmas for mutual emotional satisfaction. An attempt to improve the collective morale’ if not their morality…

  8. Luton Ian says:

    Commenter jpmrwb, has just left this over at Mises Daily:

    “Evidently the NY Fed is calling in speakers to present their take on the Fed. I found this speech by Robert Wenzel presented to the NY Fed just recently. This is the best I have read in a very long time. I think all red blooded Austrian economics loving libertarians should read this and pass it on. I hope you enjoy this, and I’m sure you will. The Keynesians at the Fed had to be squirming in their seats.

    Follow the link, it is great stuff

  9. izen says:

    Both the Keynesians and the Austrians suffer from ideological myopia that blinds them to the empiral failure of BOTH their models. Supply and demand fails even when unregulated by governments because supply is modulated by other producer interests than meeting demand, and demand is distorted by inadequate and false information. Neither party are acting in a transparent system with rational self-interest. Keynesians meanwhile have a problem with definitions of money supply – some money is more equal than others…

    No surprise that both sides regard each other with mutual disdane, and incomprehansion.
    Both sides would be on stronger ground if they could give working examples (preferably succesful!) of the application of their ideas.

    But Austrian free market methods have failed just as often as Keynesian solutions.

  10. Luton Ian says:

    Austrians actually stress that the market is a process of discovery of the always incomplete knowledge – the Hayekian branch of Austrians specialize in “the knowledge problem”, discovery and spontanaeous order.

    The Mises inst. ran Hayek’s 1945 paper “The use of Knowlwge In Society” as a daily post a few months back:

    Supply and demand does fail – in the short term. No Austrian will deny that. While most (?all?) other schools of economics assume “equilibrium”, the Austrians recognise only a tendency towards equilibrium.

    Rothbard was fond of the example of the electric hare at a greyhound track: the economy chases equilibrium, just as the dogs chase the hare, it determines the direction in which economic movement is going, but changing conditions prevent it ever getting there.

    Those changes include the profound: e.g. the invention of the car bankrupting the buggy whip makers, the everyday, e.g a mild winter reducing prices of heating oil, and the trivial: the summer fashion is miniskirts, lycra leggings aren’t selling.

    In each case – absent a bailout for the buggywhip makers, they quickly liquidate what they can and the capital which can be re-assigned is re-assigned to something which is expected to be more desired by consumers. The most easily re-assigned and most none specific factor is labour.

    “Neither party are acting in a transparent system with rational self-interest”

    All, act by applying what to their own, limited knowledge, are the most effective means to succeed in their action.

    von Mises, called upon any who claimed “irrationality”, or some “other logic” to explain exactly what they meant, and how this irrationality or other logic worked, what were the outcomes which these claimed “irrationalities” lead to?

    “Both the Keynesians and the Austrians suffer from ideological myopia that blinds them to the empiral[sic] failure of BOTH their models.”

    I’m guessing you mean “Empirical”? 🙂

    Please correct me if I’m wrong on that.

    von Mises, wrote 3 book length works, examining the correct methodological procedure for research in economics and human action;

    a science which has NO CONSTANTS!
    a science which camnnot be taken into the lab – as human actions are based on individual subjective order rankings, of the whole of the market.
    a science in which the almost all numbers are ordinal (order rankings), and it is therefore not possible to carry out any mathematical operation on them.
    Outside of the lab, historical events are complex and multi factoral. No single variable can be isolated – and all factors are variables.

    Empirical events can therefore only be interpretted by means of theory.

    That theory can only be arrived at by logical deduction from basic axioms.

    I’m not going to deny that there are empirical axioms amongst them, such as the dissutility of labour,

    But, you show any Austrian an “empirical falsification” of Austrian theory, and they will show you your incorrect interpretation of a complex historical event.

    still reading? 😉

    good, go read some of the critiques of empiricism and positivism in economics research amongst the Mises Daily articles – they’re usually by better writers than me.

  11. izen says:

    @- Luton Ian
    “Supply and demand does fail – in the short term. No Austrian will deny that. While most (?all?) other schools of economics assume “equilibrium”, the Austrians recognise only a tendency towards equilibrium.”

    Then it is just as mistaken as the other schools.
    Modelling a market with two sorts of trader, one who buys for long term return with dividends and slow stock rise, and one who buys for short term hold and gain results in a market with no equilibrium, but a tendency to boom and bust. The competing strategies generate non-linear interactions that result in market movements that are inherently chaotic.

Comments are closed.