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Murray N. Rothbard Quote

Free-market capitalism is a network of free and voluntary exchanges in which producers work, produce, and exchange their products for the products of others through prices voluntarily arrived at.

ideas > The solution to the problem is not more of the problem

The solution to the problem is not more of the problem
The solution to the problem isn’t more of the problem. The government is not the solution to the problems that have been created by the government. All committed socialists fail to realize this major point that has been validated over and over by the history of the 20th century. They become blinded by their belief that if they were just the ones to implement socialism, then it would work.

At a small fund-raising event held on April 6, 2008, in San Francisco (not exactly a community that believes in limited government), Obama explained to those in attendance why he was having a difficult time winning over working class voters. He said, “It's not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.” Remember Barack was attempting to explain why he was having trouble getting the support of working class folks. I’m not sure where the explanation is. How does this explain that? Let’s see if we can uncover Barack’s reason why the working class isn’t supporting him as much. As usual, we will need to wade through some soothing words and read between the lines, because if there is one thing that I’ve learned about Barack over this campaign is that he is everything to everybody. That is his gift. He is able to connect with diverse crowds because he brings up their pains and struggles unique to each race, class, gender, and group and then offers the hope of change ushered in by him and the government he will lead. You can be everything to everybody in words, but you can’t in action.

The most troubling thing about this statement is that Obama is lumping in the deeply personal experience of religion, which many people turn to in times of need and comfort, with guns, immigration, and trade. When I first read this statement, I immediately thought that Obama was condescending towards those who turn to religion in times of need? I thought, why would Obama, a devout Christian, seem to be ridiculing those who turn to religion during times of trouble? Perhaps he was just pandering to the San Francisco crowd who is most likely anti-gun, anti-religious, and pro-illegal immigration. Either way, it does not portend well for the majority of Americans who believe in traditional religious values. If this was a Freudian slip by Obama, then that means that he has some condescending feelings about religious people, and a typical Marxian/Socialist belief that religion is “the opiate of the masses.” If he was just playing to his audience, then that means he feels a need to pander to an anti-traditional, anti-religious crowd and that perhaps these folks have his ear and will push policies that are anti-traditional, progressive policies. If he is comfortable with people who slander religion, then those who are religious should place their votes elsewhere. If I was a religious person, would I be hanging out or asking for money from people who held deep anti-religious feelings? The same thing could be asked about Obama and his former pastor Jeremiah Wright. If I did not hold, at some level, the same racist beliefs that Pastor Wright held, would I remain in his church for 20 years? Often Barack’s words do not jive with his actions.

Luckily, however, Obama clarified his comments at some campaign stops throughout Indiana on April 12, 2008. At Ball State University he said, “So I said, well you know, when you're bitter you turn to what you can count on. So people, they vote about guns, or they take comfort from their faith and their family and their community. And they get mad about illegal immigrants who are coming over to this country or they get frustrated about you know how things are changing.”

I’m not sure why people turn to voting on guns when things are bad. Perhaps what he is saying is that when people feel victimized they turn to the outside to blame others and focus on that. I’m not sure why he chose the gun issue among the thousands of issues he could have chosen. This comment ranks up there with Michelle Obama’s comment about the reason we are all struggling is because we have to put our medical expenses on our credit cards. By the way, where is Michelle Obama lately? It would appear that the Obama campaign has shelved her after the infamous “the American soul needs fixing and Barack is the only person who can do this” comment. Perhaps Barack’s comment about people turning to religion is really his way of telling the folks in San Francisco that the working class turns to religion instead of to Barack or the government and that is why he has a hard time garnering their support. Religion teaches one to bear one’s burdens with a happy heart and trust in God that he will deliver one. Socialism teaches that the government can deliver heaven on Earth and eliminate suffering. Why struggle and suffer when you can just have the government provide you everything? Barack is a socialist. He might be a religious socialist, but he is a socialist nonetheless. He believes in big government providing the people cradle to grave entitlements and taking care of the people. That is socialism. Shouldn’t the American people be upset about the federal government refusal for over two decades to enforce the part of the Constitution that states that the federal government shall protect the states from invasion. Isn’t tens of millions of people entering our country illegally an invasion. They come into our country and use our social welfare systems, work under the table being paid in cash, and do not pay income tax. I would bet that most people in America know someone or know of someone who is an illegal immigrant who does not pay taxes, but enjoys the benefits of living in this country. It is infuriating and that is not the reason that working class people will not vote for Barack.

Barack continues, “The truth is that these traditions that are passed on from generation to generation those are important. That's what sustains us. But what is absolutely true is that people don't feel like they are being listened to.”

He hits the nail on the head on this one. The government doesn’t listen to the people that elect them. The government, consisting of elected officials, seems to follow the dictates of their own hearts. Isn’t Barack also part of the government? Isn’t he an elitist as well? Doesn’t he believe that he knows better than you and I how to run our lives? His voting record seems to dictate so. He has one of the most liberal voting records in the Senate. If he listened to the American people, he wouldn’t vote that way unless of course the people of Illinois are just as liberal as his voting record, but I somehow doubt that to be true. Barack is part of the problem. He gets elected to Washington and then summarily forgets to listen and vote primarily according to the voice of the people that elected him. Instead he doesn’t listen. Once again, he doesn’t get it. The government cannot be the solution to the problem the government creates.

And finally, Barack ends with this note, “And so they pray and they count on each other and they count on their families. You know this in your own lives, and what we need is a government that is actually paying attention. Government that is fighting for working people day in and day out making sure that we are trying to allow them to live out the American dream.”

These last three sentences really explain much of what Obama is about. He starts off by making a relatively truthful statement that we can all agree with. Most of us do pray and count on each other and our families during the good and bad times. Then he immediately transitions into what he believes to be a fact that we need a government that listens. Do we really need a government that listens? Is it possible for a government to listen? The government has its own agenda. It is very capable of listening, but generally it goes in one ear and out the other. That has been my experience when talking with government officials, both elected and not. What Americans need is not a government that listens, but they need a government that is small enough that it doesn’t have the power to ignore the people. The only way to attain this is by removing the federal government’s power to ignore the people. That would be the power to tax our income at any percentage it deems necessary. The government can ignore you and I because it has the power to take any and all of our money and do with it as it sees fit. Finally Barack ends with a comment that the government needs to “try… to allow them to live out the American dream”. Why did Barack put the word “try” before “to allow”? That is interesting that he wouldn’t say that we need a government that will allow us to live out the American dream. He instead says that we need a government that will try to allow us to do so.

So now, we are back to the question that Barack was trying to answer before his friends and supporters at a San Francisco fundraiser. Why is he having a difficult time garnering the support of the working class people? In his own words, they turn to guns, religion, and illegal immigration before they turn to him or to the government. Working class people feel powerless because the government doesn’t listen to them and the government doesn’t listen to them because they don’t have to. It is the biggest of all the big businesses that you and I deal with on a daily basis and it is a monopoly. It has the power to seize your income, throw you in jail, and ignore your desires to be free from its intrusion into your life. And Barack Obama proposes that we grow it even larger to solve the problem of the government not listening. He doesn’t get it. The solution to the problem is not more of the problem. The solution to the problem is less of the problem or less of the federal government.
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