01 Apr 2009

Oh, What a Lovely Recession

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Bad economic news has proven good news for the left, who first used public dissatisfaction over the economy to win the election last November, and who have since gleefully taken every market plunge and corporate insolvency as the basis for another power grab.

Russ Smith observes the happy leftwing American elite making hay while clouds fill the sky.

There’s presently a school of thought, mostly among the liberal intelligentsia, that the devastating recession has morphed from sheer panic to sour resignation throughout the nation. As a result, we’re now seeing the first wave of magazine and newspaper articles that assess the wreckage and grandly speculate upon the future of American society. This “first draft of history” is premature—in fact, the Las Vegas-tinged economy, where the rules are constantly changing, remains enveloped in gut-wrenching uncertainty—but I’m not an armchair sociologist with a sinecure at a prestigious university or think tank, or insulated by the downturn from inherited wealth or celebrity.

These pundits, left-leaning economists, and other designated “experts,” differ on the precise ramifications of the vanished “American Dream,” but the crux is similar: we’re entering a long, long era of reduced expectations and simpler way of life. Considering the sources—and academia is the epicenter—it’s not surprising that “Reaganism” is now a filthy word, Wall Street money-grubbers are and will be considered pariahs on the order of pornographers and ambulance-chasing lawyers, and high taxes are both necessary and desirable. An element of this commentary is the lingering resentment of the Bush years—the “stolen” election of 2000, Kerry’s loss in ’04, and the supposed philistinism of the former president—but the larger theme is, hey, we’re now in charge!

Hat tip to Bird Dog.

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One Feedback on "Oh, What a Lovely Recession"

Scott D

The hardest thing for liberals — and even some conservatives — to grasp is that wealth is not like rain. It does not just drop from the sky at intervals and our task is simply to figure out what to do with it — to build reservoirs, distribution networks and flow restrictors to conserve it. Wealth is a reward for risk. If you restrict risk or reduce reward, you will simply have less wealth down the road. The fact that we enjoyed twenty five years of enormous worldwide growth and the fact that those years were characterized by greater leverage, risk taking and lower tax burdens is not just a coincidence.
We seem to be embarking on a plan that assumes this relationship can be wished away by charisma and hope — that we can put governors on risk and still have an engine that propels us forward at maximum speed. It’s just not going to happen. Certainly the contrast between the European and American growth experiences over the last 25 years ought to have taught us something. And to compound the problem, liberals propose that we invent all sorts of new entitlements which probably cannot be funded even if we had astounding growth and which will surely collapse with lower rates of growth.
Yes, you’re in charge. Is that really what you what to be in charge of? The crippling of the only truly proven system of great wealth generation in history?



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