Robert Ringer is a New York Times No. 1 best-selling author and host of the highly acclaimed "Liberty Education Interview Series," which features interviews with top political, economic and social leaders. His latest book is "The Entrepreneur." To sign up for a free subscription to his pro-liberty, pro-free-market e-letter, A Voice of Sanity, CLICK HERE.More ↓Less ↑
Every year or two, progressive New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg actually says something I agree with, like when he recently warned that there could be riots in the streets of America if the economy doesn’t improve. On his weekly radio show, Bloomberg said that a lack of jobs is causing people to become desperate. “The damage to a generation that can’t find jobs,” explained Bloomberg, “will go on for many, many years.”
But Bloomberg and I parted ways when he praised Barack Obama for offering a proposal to create jobs and improve the economy. “At least he’s got some ideas on the table, whether you like those or not,” he said. “Now everybody’s got to sit down and say we’re actually gonna do something, and you have to do something on both the revenue and the expense side.”
None other than debonair Michael Moore echoed Bloomberg’s sentiments with his recent Occupy Wall Street protest. In an interview with never-say-die wannabe journalist Keith Olbermann, Moore said, “… the smart rich know they can only build the gates so high, and sooner or later history proves that people, when they’ve had enough, they aren’t going to take it anymore, and much better to deal with it nonviolently now through the political system than what could possibly happen in the future, which nobody wants to see.”
Moore is right in the first part of his run-on sentence, but wrong in the last part. Those who long for a left-wing dictatorship do want to see a violent revolution. Why do you think they keep encouraging worker uprisings – out of boredom? Violent uprisings are an excuse for government to implement a state of emergency and suspend habeas corpus.
The truth, of course, is that the U.S., like Europe, is socially and economically beyond repair. Yet, the answer from the left is always the same – take more money from small businesses and working people and redistribute it to handpicked corporations, special-interest groups, and government employees and bureaucrats.
The problem is that there soon will be no wealth to redistribute. Sure, progressive politicians can keep the redistribution vote-buying scam going for a while longer, but, ultimately, a Greek ending is unavoidable. And when that happens, rioting in the U.S. will be much more violent than in Greece, because people have gotten used to a considerably higher standard of living than working people in Greece and the rest of Europe.
Now, here’s where it gets complicated. While the left continues to rev up its class-warfare strategy, there are tens of millions of Americans – primarily libertarians and conservatives – who want the government to butt out. Specifically, they want to drastically cut back on government’s usurped powers to regulate, tax, redistribute wealth, and interfere in the economy and people’s lives.
This is what the tea-party movement is all about, and early on it became such a threat to the aspirations of those in the big-government crowd that they began belittling it as a hate-mongering fringe movement. Thus far, however, it hasn’t worked.
In fact, it has backfired, even though those on the left still refuse to believe the movement is for real. They can’t accept the fact that ever since the tea party came on the political scene, the freedom revolution has been competing with, and beating, the more-free-stuff revolution that lefties like the Michaels – Bloomberg and Moore – have been warning us about.
I saw this coming more than 30 years ago when I first wrote about the possibility that the U.S. might ultimately fracture into many pieces – perhaps as a result of states seceding from the union, which they have a natural right to do. But the philosophies of the two sides are now so irreconcilable that a more peaceful solution might be for them just to split the country in half and agree to part ways.
Those who believe in big government could take one half of the country and regulate, tax and redistribute wealth to their heart’s content. Within a few short years, of course, it would become a U.S. version of North Korea, devoid of civil liberties and mired in poverty, but, hey, we all get the government we deserve.
After giving the left first choice, conservatives and libertarians could then take the other half of the country – any half would be just fine – and implement a free-market economy that would be as close to laissez-faire capitalism as possible. In a short period of time, it would become a U.S. version of South Korea (or the U.S. itself in the days of yore), with explosive wealth creation and maximum freedom for its citizens.
Failing a peaceful split, it is difficult for me to see how a second civil war in the United States can be avoided, unless the left is successful in getting a large majority of the sleepwalking masses to buy into the notion that socialism is the most humane and just system known to man. In such a boil-the-frog-slowly scenario, the voices of the tea-party movement might then fade into the background over time and be relegated to a historical footnote.
Even as America’s spendaholic government outspends not only America’s ability to pay for it but, by some measures, the world’s, even as it follows Britain into the dank pit of transgenerational dependency, a failed education system and unsustainable entitlements, even as it makes less and less and mortgages its future to its rivals for cheap Chinese trinkets, most Americans assume that simply because they’re American they’re insulated from consequences.
In paraphrasing the words of Cecil Rhodes and Bernard Shaw, Steyn continues:
In our time, to be born a citizen of the United States is to win first prize in the lottery of life, and, as Britons did, too many Americans assume it will always be so. Do you think the laws of God will be suspended in favor of America because you were born in it?
What Steyn is saying is that Americans are victims of the normalcy bias, a state of mind that stops people from taking seriously the possibility of a crisis that is outside their normal, day-to-day experience. My fellow Americans, it’s time to wake up. James Dean, The Platters, Mickey Mantle and the post-World War II baby boom are gone.
The problem, however, is that while the boom is gone, the boomers are not. They are retiring en masse, and they expect – nay, demand – that the artificial prosperity of their spoiled childhoods continues.
I say split the country in half and let the demanders argue about it with their left-wing dictatorship. As for me, I look forward to trading with you on a strictly voluntary basis in the free-market half of the country.