Monday, June 28, 2010

4th of July Fizzle

I look forward to this year's 4th of July. Although it's something we look forward to every year, this year has special meaning. We celebrate our independence from tyranny while we also entertain the prospect of having that tyranny re-visited on us by the powers-that-be in Washington.

When I was a kid and you tried to light a firecracker that didn't go off, you said it "fizzled". What a great metaphor for our current political climate. Obama and his ilk have tried to light a path to socialism and are being met with growing resistance from the electorate.

Michael Barone has a great piece on National Review Online titled "Why Obamacare is Unpopular". In it, he says something that belies the liberal talking points about government-run anything:
One hundred years ago, most urban Americans rented rather than owned their homes. Many had no bank accounts, and few had significant financial assets. Elites worried that this proletariat might rise in revolution.

In this America, the progressives argued that the Founders’ vision was obsolete. Property rights should be subordinate to human rights. Government should regulate economic activity and “spread the wealth around,” as Barack Obama told Joe the Plumber.

Their problem is that the America of the progressives and New Dealers no longer exists. Government home-finance programs helped make us a nation of homeowners. Technological progress and deregulation improved transportation and communications and made the necessities of life less costly, enabling citizens to accumulate significant wealth in their working years.

But we still live in an America like the America of the Founders and unlike the America of the progressives and the New Dealers, in which a majority of citizens are or have every prospect of becoming property owners. And a nation of property owners is less willing to plunder the property of others in search of some promised gain than a nation in which most people don’t and will never own significant property.
In other words, the headlong plunge into affordable housing has created a nation of property owners unlike any time in our history. Granted, there are many that have used the incentives of the federal government to gain in the short-term, but what of the others, the ones that established new-found ownership?

Owning property establishes roots. It defines a culture that is interested in creating a legacy for its family and its country. It is anathema to the prurient interests of liberal politicians and socialists that prey on dependence. That ownership mentality is now transforming into an electoral tsunami that may result in the biggest shift of governance in our lifetime. Said another way, we may finally see socialism fizzle.

The fun of the 4th of July was being able to light those fireworks under your parents' watchful eyes. The "fizzle" didn't deter you from having a wondrous time. It won't this year either.

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