Remember “Y2K”? The growing angst that neared panic, the predictions that at the stroke of midnight, 1999, every computer and digital device in the world would self-destruct? It sounded like an episode of “Mission Impossible”.
We caught the fever at our house. We built two structures out back on concrete foundations, one for storable food and water and canned heat and batteries, and the other for a propane-powered generator that would kick on when city power failed, providing refrigeration and heat for ourselves, and some we could share with neighbors.
Y2K came and went, without so much as a flicker. Everything kept working just as it had the day before, and a lot of us felt pretty foolish. We long ago let spiders and ants feast on the food, and though I dutifully went out and started the generator once in a while for several years, it finally got bored and died.
And now Americans are being deluged with frantic propaganda about two other imminent dangers — a healthcare system that is so inadequate and expensive that it threatens to bankrupt the nation, and a global-warming climate change that will turn the whole world into a Mad Max hell.
The proponents of drastic measures to avoid these cataclysmic disasters, including our current administration, are virtually screaming the modern equivalent of “The sky is falling! The sky is falling!"
And as they do, they urgently propose big government takeovers as the only possible solutions. Notice those aren’t conservative, free enterprise leaders, and thinkers who are making these proposals, rather folks who already favor big government as the answer to everything, and they feel they’ve found the way to enforce that at last.
I’m just one guy, but I do a lot of thinking, and I have loved this country and the way we normally do things for a long time. I really get nervous, even agitated, when I feel our citizenry is being steamrolled, even bamboozled, into precipitous and likely counterproductive actions. I “got took” by the Y2K snake oil salesmen, and I don’t want us to be stampeded into foolish behavior again.
I’ve got a couple of proposals, but first I’d like to share a few statistics from a whale of a speech made by Former Ohio Rep. Bob McEwen to 11,000 students at Liberty University a couple days after President Barack Obama addressed both houses of Congress. See if McEwen’s words — far more salient and wise than the president’s — don’t affect your thinking as they have mine.
He pointed out that the U.S. has just 4 percent of the world’s population. Still, we have contributed — through our free enterprise system — more of the technological, medical, and scientific advances to bless our earth than any other nation. In comparison, Russia, which is larger geographically than China and Canada combined and has huge oil, metals, natural gas, and gold reserves, has a GDP (gross domestic product) smaller than New Jersey.
The 26 Arab nations, with all their oil billions and other resources apart from their vast land mass, have a GDP less than half that of California. The world’s fourth largest nation, Indonesia (where Obama spent his childhood), also with incredible natural resources and oil reserves, and with 300 million people, has a GDP smaller than Louisiana, with its 4 million people.
As McEwen asked, “Why is that? What is it that makes our country so much more productive, with so much more to contribute to the whole world, than any other nation on earth?”
And the answer is simple. It’s our free enterprise, independent, voluntary system of living that inspires and enables our people to see something that’s needed or wanted — and to create answers and products and methods to meet those needs. In turn, we share it with the world, and bless everybody. And yes, incidentally, we do make a profit from all this, enabling us to keep on making other advancements. That’s what rankles a lot of others, most of whom haven’t created anything, but resent those who do.
All these other nations not only pour more unfiltered sewage into the world environment, and produce far less that the world really needs — but they are controlled by their governments, some by dictators. In totally socialistic countries, basic human needs may be provided by excessive taxation, but the incentives to innovate and produce are greatly inhibited.
Two things are starkly, incontrovertibly true. In any nation, the greater the freedom, the greater the wealth and opportunity for all. The more oppressive and controlling the government, the greater the poverty and lethargy. When incentive is suppressed, individual initiative is rare.
Are there better solutions to our problems than those being rammed down our throats by a new administration, holding sway over a trembling Congress? Of course there are. Any fool can see that, and I’m one of ’em!
In fact, I’ve just been told I’m on the president’s “secret enemies list,” reported in The New York Times of the supermarket tabloid world, The Globe. I had no idea. But since my time may be short, I’ll blurt out a couple of alternative proposals.
Since a clear majority of Americans say they like our healthcare — and folks from socialistic countries continue to flock to our hospitals and doctors for our care—let’s keep what we’ve got and fix the parts that need fixing. Even the president said he’s identified $185 billion in Medicare waste and fraud, so let’s weed it out now. And then we can increase care and even insurance for those who say they can’t afford it, in separate voluntary plans — without installing a $10 trillion takeover most of us do not want. Back off, Big Brother!"
Climate change is a fact. It ebbs and flows, comes and goes through the centuries — and what humans do industrially affects it minimally. It’s good to “think clean” and “go green” within reason. But even the Kyoto Protocol of 1997, if enacted and complied with by all countries through the next century, would affect our climate in insignificant, almost immeasurable ways. The Washington Post calls Kyoto a “mostly symbolic treaty." And hundreds of reputable, brilliant scientists tell us the whole scare is without basis.
But if we Americans scrape big government off our backs, we’ll do what we’ve always done. Facing problems but not panicked by false alarms, free men and women will voluntarily and sacrificially and brilliantly produce the answers.
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