Get the Government Off Our Backs!
Laissez-faire capitalism is a wonderful thing. Given a little bit of luck, a man can make a fortune, and create millions of jobs. That’s a good idea, isn’t it?
To get there all we have to do is vote for a president and a congress, and governors who have the resolve to get the government off our backs.
You, who once had a terrific factory job, a house with a yard, two cars, air conditioners, television and a vacation house, what happened to your middle class life? Didn’t that job go South, or overseas, or fully automated? Do you know why that job left?
The government bureaucrats took that away from you, and now all you have to do is get the bureaucrats off the backs of our job creators. Take back your freedom!
This makes sense, eh? Then spend a few minutes looking at these pictures from the golden age of capitalism, before the bureaucrats came around and imposed onerous regulations on businesses and prevented job creation.
These are boys of grade school and junior high school age in a coal mine in Pennsylvania one-hundred years ago. That was so long ago that the big government bureaucrats hadn’t yet imposed child-labor laws on the job creators, who were businessmen, corporate giants who obeyed only the laws of economics as they understood them. I was struck by the somewhat older kid with the club who made sure the boys were doing their jobs. See this and others in the archive at the Library of Congress here.
The job creators said these children were happy to get the work and help their families. Perhaps their fathers were injured and couldn’t work. There was no disability insurance. That’s a government regulation that had to be imposed on these factory owners. There was no health insurance. That became the norm after long, hard battles fought by labor unions. But the job creators felt unions were even more immoral than government and they decimated the unions.
Now, virtually all the remaining unionized workers are employed by the government directly, like teachers, cops, firemen. Does it make sense to turn your resentment over lost jobs against government workers?
Along the same line, there was no social security. That was a government imposition of businesses, one brought about by Franklin Roosevelt, a very wealthy man from an impeccable family, who was considered to be a traitor to his class by many of his peers.
But these boys in the picture, and millions of boys and girls in all kinds factories, mills, mines were free. They could work if they wanted to. Or, … the trouble is that there was no alternative.
If you take a look at the rest of this blog, this entry may seem unusual. The truth is that I hate politics. I worked in newspapers for about 25 years and I was fed up with politics.
I remember the first election I covered. It was in some little town in New Jersey and the guy who just won the mayor’s race was being driven away from his victory annoucement at his headquarters. With a drink in his hand, he stuck his head out of the car and shouted one more quote for my story. “This shows the people want law and order,” he said. It was stupid, since there was no crime in his town. It was just a slogan during the Nixon years and I suppose he liked the sound of it.
I left the news business before the 2000 election, and since then, the country has taken a sharp turn to the right. When Bush won, more than likely by stealing the Florida election, I was surprised but not alarmed. Since the 2010 election and the rise of the tea party mystique, I’ve become alarmed.
I resumed reading the news more seriously in the past year, and started writing these blog entries. I think I became overwhelmed, and stopped writing. But such despair is unattractive. In fact, it’s totally wrong. This photo shook me up a bit.
I read a bit of the transcript of the debate on Tuesday (Oct. 16) and heard Romney’s claim about his job creation prowess. He doesn’t explain anything in the debate, but he alludes to his five-point program. I found that on the web and read it, and it doesn’t explain anything. However, hot air is not unusual for politicians. You can read it for yourself here
Romney does refer to his business successes, but before you buy that line, read David Stockman’s piece in Newsweek about what Romney means by success. Stockman was Ronald Reagan’s budget director, and has been challenging the new right wing lately. He details what Romney and Bain Capital were doing here.
More frightening is Romney’s running mate, Paul Ryan, who’s been the poster boy for destroying the federal government, and Romney’s billionaire backers. Follow the money and see what they contributors for each candidate are up to. You can be sure they want something for their tens of millions of dollars. I think they want the world depicted in those photos by Lewis Hine.