Skip to comments.Yes, Atlas Will “Shrug,” Eventually
Posted on 10/21/2012 6:38:58 AM PDT by Kaslin
People call this the new normal. Let me assure you there is nothing normal about this at all. Its the new abnormal, and it wont last, because as free people we wont stand for it
With those remarks, business magnate and former presidential candidate Steve Forbes drew thunderous applause from his audience last Wednesday. Headlining the Power Up! business and motivational seminar with Sarah Palin, Rudy Giuliani, and Indian-born Zig Ziglar protégé Krish Dhanam, Mr. Forbes was speaking before a crowd of ten thousand at the Idaho Center indoor sporting complex.
Forbes had just finished explaining why a confluence of cheap credit, billions of dollars in stimulus spending, lots of new taxes and government regulations, and the ensuing government debt have all failed to stimulate our economy. He was confirming with his technical explanation, what many of us know instinctively in our hearts: the reality that no organization- no individual or family, no business, no government can spend its way out of debt and re-distribute its way to prosperity.
We should all hope that Forbes is right that as free people, we wont stand for it. Because if we continue to vote for politicians who viciously take expanding portions of wealth from our societys producers and selfishly redistribute that wealth to those of their choosing, eventually the politicians will run out of others peoples money to redistribute and we will all suffer the consequences. The social disorder and collapse of Greece and Spain could be our future in the U.S., if, as free people, we dont choose more wisely.
For those who have eyes to see and ears to hear, examples abound in this present day of how not to construct a national economy. Greece and Spain qualify, yes, and so does Venezuela. Yet even within the last week the news from France, another bureaucratic, debt-laden, and not-so-free-anymore part of the free world, should be a wake-up call to all Americans.
After five years of service from President Nicolas Sarkozy who sought to reduce government controls of the economy and to stimulate private enterprise, French voters tossed him aside last May in favor of a presidential candidate who was nominated jointly by both the French Socialist Party, and Frances Radical Left Party. Francois Hollande campaigned with a set of 60 propositions - referred to as his manifesto which included raising taxes on corporations; raising taxes on banks; raising taxes on rich individuals; lowering the official retirement age back down to age 60 from 62; hiring 60,000 new government school teachers; and establishing government subsidized youth jobs programs in regions of high unemployment.
Today, many French citizens seem horrified that shock! President Hollande is doing precisely what he pledged to do. The situation is very serious noted Laurence Parisot, head of Frances largest labor union MEDEF in an interview with the London Telegraph last week. Some business leaders are in a state of quasi-panic he claimed, as the Telegraph reported that France is sliding into a grave economic crisis and risks a full-blown hurricane as investors flee rocketing tax rates.
In less than six months, President Hollande has managed to raise capital gains taxes from 34.5% to 62.2%. According to Reporter Ambrose Evans-Pritchard at the London Telegraph, this compares to 21% in Spain, 26.4% in Germany, and 28% in Britain (capital gains taxes reach as high as 35% here in the U.S.).
Mr. Parisot claims that President Hollande has yet to understand the extreme gravity of the nations crisis. Additionally, a private enterprise coalition has launched a nationwide protest movement which they call the State of Emergency For Business, claiming that President Hollandes confiscatory tax rates threaten lasting damage to their country.
So lets be clear about whats happening in France. A major, national labor union leader (Laurence Parisot) arguably a counterpart of Teamsters leader James P. Hoffa here in the U.S. is upset because a Socialist President is taking more money from the rich and re-distributing it to others via government employment programs. Such policies would seem like a dream come true for the AFL-CIO, yet the union leader in France seems to understand that the rich in his country play a vital role in other peoples livelihoods, and simply seizing more of their money is damaging for everybody. Mr. Parisot takes his criticisms further, stating that aligning taxes on capital with those on wages is a profound economic error; it is scandalous that the French have been left in such economic ignorance for years (a stinging indictment on Frances unionized public education system).
So is Atlas shrugging in France? When labor union leaders panic over taxes being too high, it suggests that, yes, the trains may soon stop running, in a matter of speaking.
Here in the U.S., it might not be so much of a proactive shrug right now as it is a more passive abandonment, a sitting on the sidelines, waiting to see what happens phenomenon with those who could otherwise be starting new businesses (a subtle death by a thousand cuts, perhaps). If hes re-elected, President Obama will get his Francois Hollande moment as he can allow income and capital gains taxes to skyrocket on January 1 (which he has pledged to do) and watch lower and middle income Americans reel from the infliction of Obamacare taxes and penalties.
Lets hope that Steve Forbes is right that this is not our new normal; that we will reject politicians who are vicious with societys wealth creators; that we will choose to remain a free people and that we will reject President Obama in November.
Anyone honestly think we can safely perform an about face? Raise your hand.
OOH! OOOH! All we have to do is vote Romney and everything will be hunky dory!
One of the reasons we have not recovered from the recession is new businesses have not been created like they were in the 1980's. However, no matter how you point these facts out to liberals they just won't "get it". Liberals figure it's all talk when business people say they won't expand, or will look elsewhere. I think they underestimate the resolve of high achievers to control what they've created.
Most people don't understand that for high achievers the greatest motivation is not the money, it's the creation of something and it's successful operation. I for one have already started looking outside the USA. If obama wins it's clear to me that a majority of the country feels "entitled" to take from me what I spent a lifetime creating. I won't be able to liguidate my assets in the USA, but my profit will flow to where it will get a better return and I don't have to worry about it being confiscated.
In my estimation Romney will only manage the decline, rather than accelerate it (which is an improvement regardless). Unless he does things after the election he’s been unwilling to state during the campaign, neither he nor the public are yet ready to accept what must be done to fix this.
I am in the same situation. Am considering early retirement partially since I don’t want to be a slave working to support a bunch of non-workers on welfare. Also if the government is going to (try) to take my savings anyway, I might as well spend it myself instead.
Perhaps this is the solution everyone wants: let the left-wing people keep working, since they want earnings to be confiscated and “spread around”, while those of us on the right can retire and live off the left-wingers.
You are absolutely correct.
agree. Anyone expecting Romney to shut down the EPA, Energy, Education, Labor and audit the Fed etc, etc, etc will be disappointed. He’s a business consultant who specializes in streamlining operations and making them more efficient. We will see a reduction in federal workforce and departmental budgets and a better bottom line but not much else.
I expect a top to bottom review of all the operations and a very Clintonesque declaration about the era of big government while he attempts to undo all the destruction Obama has wrought.
What people don’t understand is that it will take 8-12 years to root out all the plantar warts Obama shoved in the dark corners of every agency. Elections have consequences and all those that took the day off in 2008 need to realize that the era of being disengaged politically is over. We need to keep countering the left because they will never go away. We can’t stop attending events, rallies and town halls, we can’t stop promoting local people in local elections and creating a bullpen of qualified candidates willing to step up when necessary.
To paraphrase Churchill, Romney is just the end of the beginning of a long and drawn out conflict of ideas that will last for a few generations.
Eventually something much more drastic will have to be done to reform government, or we will slide into insolvency. As long as so many Americans are convinced that they deserve to have others pay for their farm subsidies, medical care, and Obamaphones, there is no reason to expect things to get better.
We need a Republican White House and Congress, and for Kagan and Sotomayor to drop dead.
The collapse will be faster under Obama. Romney will be able to hold it off for a few more years, but it will come nonetheless. My suggestion to all FReepers is to look at ex-US places to put your money. Once capital controls are in place, it will be too late - you will be trapped like many (formerly) middle-class people in Venezuela.
Good job illustrating the sort of thinking I'm afraid of... that sort of thinking can only lead to complacency which will allow our liberties to be further destroyed by the statists, of which Romney is a member.
No, we cannot...
because of the politicans in washington, that’s why..
how do these same politicans keep getting to washington?
THE PEOPLE ELECT THEM!!!!
until the people of this country wake the hell up, stop playing team politics, and realize the scope of disinformation being placed upon them, nothing will change.
when the constitution was drafted, it was designed so that pete would go to washington for 2 years, and then it was freds turn..
now, the people just vote for a party, and to hell with who will do what for them, just vote for the pub, or vote for the dem, cuz they got it down, baby...
bullcrap... until people stop swallowing the propoganda, reject both parties and start voting independent, it will just continue as is..
But, if you don’t vote for our guy, you are giving your vote to their guy..
again, bunch of crap..
what is the one thing both parties fear???
ask yourself that question, and then answer it...
I see “shrugging” taking place from an interesting viewpoint. I’m a high school English teacher, and a fairly robust number of my bright students have withdrawn from the larger culture. The energy that you’d normally see in an intelligent student with solid values - yes, they are out there - has been focused inwardly, sometimes toward church, sometimes toward personal interests, sometimes into apathy. My full-on Christian kids are sitting on the sidelines, waiting for the end of the world. Many of the boys have given up, and many of the girls are frantic with anxiety.
It is a very different atmosphere than what I saw in the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s. Enthusiasm is rare. Often students will express viewpoints that contradict traditional leftist thought in a whisper. The only students I see who are really jazzed are the leftist kids, and their excitement is matched by their vitriol and hatred.
Most of the teachers are hunkered down, too. No one speaks up, no one volunteers. A lot of us are looking after our families. It feels like I’m holding my breath.
I’d say Atlas has already shrugged, but, as it was in the novel, the characters in our own story are dimly aware that something is out of place without being able to put their finger on the precise problem.
God help us.
American investment will return to America.