The election results are far past troubling, but it's not the end of the world. Really, it's not.
I would argue, in fact I already have, that America has changed fundamentally. And not in a good way. I haven't changed my mind about that since I wrote about it a few days ago. I think we live in a "Post America" now. An America whose people perceive their country and its government entirely different than people my age used to.
The storm clouds that used to be on the horizon are quickly turning into the storm itself. It has arrived and it was our choice. No foreign despot like Hitler, Stalin, Tojo, or Bin Laden imposed the new system on us. We either embraced, or surrendered to (according to your perspective), our new dependence on government.
Having said that, even though we are no longer exceptional, we will survive in the new world. Just not as well. Humans are resilient.
So what is this post all about? It's about an essay I read this morning on the blog "Cafe Hayek" written by Dr. Russ Roberts.
Russ is a professor of economics at the George Mason University Mercatus Center. He is an author of a number of books and his resume is so strong it's irritating to those of us with no resume at all. Suffice it to say you should read absolutely everything he writes. Of course you won't, and neither will I, so forget that and just read the following article. It explains why, in a rational and non-hysterical manner, the end has not come just because the country has chosen big government over individual initiative.
It's the best article you can read if you want to look at our situation without losing your ability to see the real picture thoughtfully and maturely because of your emotional distress.
Oh, by the way, you should read the Cafe Hayek blog every chance you get. You'll be smarter even if you disagree with the folks over there. Here is the beginning of his essay. I hope you will choose to read the rest, it gets even better as it goes along.
Really? The Road to Serfdom?
by RUSS ROBERTS
NOVEMBER 8, 2012
In this recent post I gave some post-election thoughts. I was trying to cheer up those of us who are alarmed at the road we appear to be heading down. One commenter, Jamie Newman wrote in response:
"You guys have been forecasting the arrival of universal serfdom for about as long as the left has been predicting the collapse of capitalism. Is the Road to Serfdom gridlocked? Did someone forget to gas the car? Has our dashboard GPS unit failed? Or our we just moving really slowly, the better to take in the scenery?
I mean, come on. I’m guessing that that you, the readers of this blog are among the freest people in human history. You are free to go pretty much anywhere in the world you wish to go, free to buy pretty much anything that’s available for sale anywhere, free to think anything you want, say anything you want, read anything you want, watch anything you want on TV. And even after you’ve paid for all those dinners in nice restaurants, vacations in nice places, and homes in nice subdivisions, you still have enough left over to own shares of Apple or Google. You’re paying less in taxes than you have in decades. If you get really sick, or suffer a serious injury, you will receive top quality medical care than will not leave you penniless even though you might never be able to pay the full cost of your care yourself– thanks largely to the pre-eminently socialist institution known as “insurance.” And even if you’ve not made or saved lot of money in your lifetime, you will not be destitute in your old age, and you will not be allowed to die like a dog in the street. And so on.
Maybe I’ve missed something. But an itemized list liberties of which you have been deprived, or that you are at risk of losing, might help me get up to speed."
Now I was actually pretty calm about the road to serfdom in the post. I didn't say we were well down the road or anything like that. Nor did I claim that the current trend inevitably means we’re going to lose our freedom. I claimed the opposite in fact: if we work hard to educate and inspire we can put the country on a different path. ......Read the rest here.
Editors note.. Dr Roberts didn't "go there" as far as the list of lost liberties the commenter asked for, but others have, and we will do so too in a future post. Leave a comment below if you would like to see such a list soon.