What are the main social, political and economic problems we face today?

I think they fall into two groups, economic-political and cultural.

The economic-political issues are the continuing and still growing over-reach of government, both domestically and in international affairs.  Domestically, this means excess spending, taxing and borrowing by government at all levels since about 1960 – an excess that keeps growing every decade.  These fiscal problems are enabled to some extent by the federal monetary policy of printing excess dollars and thus inflating the currency.

It also includes the ever-growing excess in regulation of all kinds – health, safety, environmental and economic.  Plus government expansion into ever more sectors of the economy as a direct provider of services that would better be served by private markets.

The growing regulatory and intervention excess together make up the bulk of the modern administrative state; combined with excess government spending, it depresses economic growth.  Slowing economic growth means people on average are less well-off than they would be without these excesses.  That is, government excess diminishes aggregate human wellbeing – and also fairness.

Thus, from the 1960s to the Great Recession, we had real per-person growth in incomes of about 2 to 2.5 percent per year.  During that time, the growing government excess was offset by favorable trends in population growth, labor force participation, debt both public and private, foreign trade and international economic growth.  These trends are somewhat organic, but also greatly influenced by public policy.

In this century, all those favorable trends have reversed or slowed, and growth in government spending, regulation, etc. has continued.  So, for the last decade, our per-person income growth has been less than half of what we all grew up with.

Per person real growth at 2 to 2.5 percent per year means that incomes, wealth and overall wellbeing double each generation.  That’s a recipe for real progress – new medical cures, better diets, living standards of all kinds – and for general human happiness.

Growth at less than half those rates is a recipe for unhappiness, economic stagnation, political polarization and social upheaval such as we’ve seen in recent years.  It will continue for as long as we have slow growth.  And with continued government excess and the other problems driven by public policy, these problems may last for a long time.

A particular aspect will exacerbate these problems in the future.  Generous payouts for social security, Medicare, and pension and benefits systems constitute a transfer of income from young people to older folks.  These Ponzi schemes are, like all such schemes, unsustainable.  They will breakdown or blow up in the future, damaging many people, families and businesses, and producing more social and political upheaval.

What’s the government excess in foreign affairs?

With the collapse of the Soviet evil empire – which, thank goodness, we helped precipitate – our foreign and intelligence Deep State looked for new adventures to keep its numbers employed and growing.  The Deep State is the illegitimate child of the modern administrative state.

Certainly, Islamic-fascism is a major problem, but it doesn’t justify our continuous involvement in war in the Mideast and elsewhere, as favored by the Deep State. 

It’s also promoting more strategic responses to our next major international problem, the ever-aggressive Chinese state.  However, despite Chinese theft of intellectual property and similar aggressions, a trade war and tariffs are not the answer.  They diminish overall human wellbeing here and in China.

Cultural problems?

Participation trophies, trigger warnings, safe spaces, etc. get more attention than they deserve.  But they are the tip of the spear, reflecting a softening of society, a cult celebrating victim status, corrosive identity politics, and a deep sense of entitlement.  These, coupled with government over-reach in social and political matters, are leading to an inversion of fundamental historic values and rights such as freedom of speech and religion, due process and the presumption of innocence, and Second Amendment self-defense.

What to do?

First, live a good life as a spouse, parent, friend, neighbor and citizen.  Second, stay politically active to leave all our children and heirs a better legacy and life.  For their sake, don’t give up.

 

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Ron Knecht is a contributing editor to the Penny Press - the conservative weekly "voice of Nevada." You can subscribe at www.pennypressnv.com. This is an edited version of his column which has been reprinted with permission. 

 

Published in Opinion
%PM, %06 %747 %2019 %16:%Aug

The Deep State and the Dumb State

The pencil neck geek who is the chair of the House Intelligence Committee, Adam Schiffhead (read into that what you will), more than adequately illustrates what’s wrong with American government these days.

 

In short, the deep state and worse, the dumb state.

 

Schiff represents both.

 

And, worse, he’s NOT from Somalia.  He’s from the People’s Republic of California.

 

Years ago, when I was in college, we ran a very small college radio station which broadcast local city council meetings, gavel to gavel.

 

I did color commentary.

 

Then, I would go home and wake up the next morning and read the daily paper’s report on the meeting.

 

I often wondered whether we were broadcasting the same meeting I was reading about.

 

Watching the Democrats spin it, I have the same problem with the testimony I saw from Robert Mueller before Schiff’s House Intelligence Committee (yeah, believe it or not, they still call it that). Also before that clown Jerrold Nadler’s Judiciary Committee.

 

What these idiots did was try to get Mueller to whittle a gun into a bar of soap.

 

The report from the special prosecutor was pretty clear that the President did not “collude” with the Russians nor did he attempt to obstruct the investigation.  Period, full stop.  And, by the way, “colluding” is not a crime.

 

Prosecutors DO NOT “exonerate” people.  They indict them.  Even the morons in the House have probably watched the real Adam Schiff (well, he’s more real than Congressman Schiffhead) on Law and Order for 10 years (actually Steven Hill) and probably know how it works.

 

Mueller refused to talk about how the investigation got its start. The FACT that the FBI used a completely discredited “dossier” compiled by a company which, it turns out, had been hired by the Democrat National Committee to ask for a warrant from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) secret court.  That document had been made up by a foreign spy which should tell you a lot.

 

The fact that 14 of the 18 investigators Mueller hired were registered Democrats should tell you even more.

 

And even after two years and $30-MILLION of our dollars that Mueller could not bring any action against President Trump should tell you all you need to know.

 

Did the President use some foul language?  No more foul than I would have.

 

Did some people involved in the campaign get indicted for crimes totally unrelated to the campaign?

 

Absolutely.

 

Did Trump do anything illegal?  Not according to Mueller.

 

Mueller bumbled and stumbled through hours of testimony and looked like he is beginning to suffer from dementia.  I felt bad for him.  It was painful to watch.

 

Now, more importantly, did the Russians do anything illegal to manipulate the 2016 election?

 

Well, they bought a lot of facebook ads.

 

Facebook says that roughly 126 million Americans may have been exposed to content generated on its platform by the Russian government-linked troll farm known as the Internet Research Agency between June 2015 and August 2017.  Keep in mind that the election was in November of 2016.

 

“This equals about four-thousandths of one percent (0.004%) of content in News Feed, or approximately 1 out of 23,000 pieces of content.  Put another way, if each of these posts were a commercial on television, you’d have to watch more than 600 hours of television to see something from the IRA,” Facebook told CNN.

 

And then, consider the source.  Who in the hell takes Facebook seriously?  In many ways, it is just as stupid as the Democrats in the House.

 

That’s meddling in the election?  Then what about NBC, CBS and ABC?

 

All of the queen’s men couldn’t kill off the Trump campaign.

 

That’s largely because Queen Hillary called half of America “deplorable”.

 

Mueller didn’t “investigate” that.

 

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Fred Weinberg is a columnist and the CEO of USA Radio Network. His views and opinions are his own and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of GCN. Fred's weekly column can be read all over the internet. You can subscribe at www.pennypressnv.com. His column has been reprinted in full, with permission. 

Published in Opinion