Social experiments can be tricky things. As with any experiment they may work or they may not. Most experiments occur in a lab, but right now we are living one that could, no will, change the very core of what the United States was founded upon.
Sounds pretty doom and gloom doesn’t it? Think back almost two years ago when congress and the president were locked in budget negotiations. What came out of their inability to reach an agreement? Sequestration. As the time for sequester to take effect neared we heard the president and democrats crying that the sky would fall. The consequences would be devastating. The sequestration date arrived and the sun came up, as did the stock market. The world continued to turn.
Just a couple of months ago as the battle over funding the federal government loomed, ObamaCare enrollment was nearing, and the debt ceiling was pressing down on us we once again heard of the catastrophic consequences that a government shutdown would cause, not only in our markets but in the fragile world economy as well.
Amongst all this wailing and gnashing of teeth stood a handful of Republicans with the foresight to fight against ObamaCare with all they had. They suffered personal attacks, from not only the other side of the aisle but from those who were supposedly their allies. As it turns out now those who denigrated them are clamoring for their proposals to be enacted. They fought against one of the worst social experiments “root and branch” you might say.
The House of Representatives passed bill after bill to fund the government and keep it open only to be stopped in the Senate by Harry Reid. In an attempt to govern via press conferences the President and Senator Reid took to the air waves almost daily doing their best Chicken Little impersonation claiming the sky is falling. Because the Senate refused to take any serious action, we went into a two week government shutdown. The sun came up, the world turned, October had a strong jobs report, and this week the DOW crossed into the 16,000 territory for the first time.
In 2011 Niall Ferguson gave a TED talk entitled “The 6 Killer Apps for Prosperity”. In his talk, Ferguson mentioned how the world took Germany and divided it in half. Each half had the same people, same geography, and same resources. But one had communism, government controlled economy and industry. The other was a free market economy.
The Germany with strict government control ended up with bread lines, poverty, and substandard manufactured products. The free market Germany prospered. The same thing happened with Korea. Communist controlled North Korea is poverty ridden and the people endure a bleak lifestyle. South Korea on the other hand is a burgeoning world economy with prospering businesses and innovation.
We are seeing the same thing with parts of our own economy. The abject failure that is the roll out of ObamaCare where the government is attempting to take over 1/6 of our economy has been disastrous. We hear liberal commentators tell us that other entitlement programs had rocky starts but are now a huge success. They point to Medicare and Medicaid which deep down are not all that successful. They are facing tens of billions in waste and fraud. They are groaning under the weight of a declining contributor to recipient ratio and their future seems unsustainable at current rates. But for political reasons true reform of these programs is considered deadly to a campaign.
Whether it is healthcare, the energy sector, or education of our kids, can we afford to duplicate East Germany or North Korea? We need to fight becoming the next failed social experiment or face the stark reality that life as we live it is going to change drastically.
Ronald Reagan said, “Let us be sure that those who come after will say of us in our time, that in our time we did everything that could be done. We finished the race; we kept them free; we kept the faith.”