Monday, July 2, 2012
America's Ugly Mood
By Alan Caruba
The present ugly mood in the nation is directly traceable to the man who is the worst president ever elected to that high office, Barack Hussein Obama. His utter lack of regard for our guiding instrument of governance, the Constitution, is rivaled by his contempt for all Americans.
The June 25th Rasmussen Reports polls found that 55% wanted the U.S. Supreme Court to uphold Arizona’s immigration law. (It struck down most of it but retained the state’s right to authorize police to request proof of citizenship.) 54% favored repeal of Obama’s healthcare law and, as we know, it was retained based on being deemed a tax.
Elections always exacerbate the nation’s mood and, in a nation that is so evenly divided between conservatives and liberals, their outcome has often been decided by “independents”, voters that swing in either direction depending on events and candidates. It’s a toss of the coin whether Obamacare or the economy will be the driving issue of the November elections.
A look back at American history provides an answer to why the economy is suffering though frankly it may offer little comfort. That said, it is still worth knowing where we came from to reach this present point.
America has been through previous recessions and even a Great Depression, but what is generally unknown is that they were the result of presidents and congresses that did not understand the workings of the nation’s free market economy.
It was Lincoln who put in place tariffs to protect American manufacturing and they stayed in place even through Franklin Roosevelt’s struggle to deal with the Great Depression. Following the end of World War II, the average U.S. import tariffs on durable goods fell from almost 30% to around 8%.
The virtual removal of tariffs and the embrace of global “free trade” are at the heart of the nation’s present financial crisis.
As Martin Seiff, the author of “That Should Be Us”, an analysis of the nation’s present crisis, wrote, “The Republican Party of Abraham Lincoln and Dwight D. Eisenhower was not a party of free trade. Every one of the ten Republican presidents who succeeded Lincoln remained committed to his tariffs policy.
“A tariff in fact acts as a tax on imported goods, but a tariff simultaneously acts as a tax break and a huge incentive to domestic investors to invest their money in domestic U.S. manufacturing instead…international investors love to invest in an industrial economy that is protected by tariffs.”
“It was not the abstract theory of democracy or the philosophical superiority of freedom that attracted more than thirty millions immigrants to the United States in the seventy years from 1860 to 1930; it was the prospect of a better, wealthier life. Democracy flourished in the United States throughout that century for the same reason that it failed in Germany in early 1930s. It failed in Weimar Germany because the economy collapsed, not just once, but repeatedly. Weimar’s disasters plunged scores of millions of previously decent people into destitution and desperation.”
To put the past and present in context, Seiff noted that, during the long period when the nation’s manufacturing base was protected by tariffs, “Automobiles, the modern assembly line, manned flight, the eradication of polio through the Sabin and Salk vaccines, the eradication of smallpox within the United States, manned space flight, steelmaking, the largest, most efficient ship-building industry the world has ever seen, the largest air force in history, the largest navy in history, jet airlines, nuclear energy, the oil industry, the electric light bulb, television, electrical power generating stations, alternating current for long-distance electrical power, transcontinental railroads, the refrigeration industry, the air conditioning industry, and vacuum cleaners.
And compared to all that, what do we celebrate today? Would you believe, Facebook?”
Our economic policies under presidents from Kennedy to Obama have abandoned the protection of our manufacturers, the creators of real value and real wealth. Today, we import much of what we use from nations like China that protect theirs with tariffs and other measures. Wal Mart and others offering cheap goods have become China’s Trojan horse because we no longer manufacture them here.
The lessons of history cannot be ignored. The embrace of “multiculturalism”, the failure to protect our borders from massive illegal immigration, the imposition of high taxes, and the increase in government regulation is killing America.
Elected on the promise of “hope and change”, Obama has destroyed the hopes of millions of Americans. There is a chance to end this in November, but it will be independent voters on whom the future depends.
© Alan Caruba, July 2012