Elizabeth Warren said recently a tax cut for the rich would be a gift. What does this reveal about the political philosophy of her and other progressives like Bernie Sanders? It says they do not recognize an individual's right to property. They believe all property belongs to the State and what they allow you to keep is a gift. This is outrageous but shared in principle by millions.

In France two of the four candidates that ran for president believe this. One who describes herself as a progressive is running on raising the tax rate on the rich to 75%. The other, a communist, wants to raise it to 100%!  Progressives, socialists, communists, and fascists, all agree that the State is and should be in control of your money. They only differ on the degree of the plunder they advocate and the loot they want to take from you.

Elizabeth Warren's philosophy is a throwback to the days of Kings. It is what America escaped from. It is why we established our form of government as a Constitutional Republic. We base our society on the concept of individual rights, property rights, and the rule of law. This is an alien concept to Warren. She believes that the poor have rights, but the rich do not. She does not believe that all people are created equal and should be protected equally under the law.

 

Not only does she believe that the State owns your wealth, she believes the State owns your life. She believes the State has the right to control you and regulate you in virtually every aspect of life. To Warren, the land of the free, is a passe' concept. The enlightened Left believe in the land of the selectively enslaved. And just like wealth, when it comes to freedom of actions, the State will dole out only those freedoms they feel you deserve.

Freedom, which our Founding Fathers cherished, is exactly the opposite of the philosophy Warren and all those that hold such concepts believe. It, as described in our Constitution, holds the individual above the State. It explicitly prevents the State from violating individual unalienable rights; in fact it directs the State to defend individuals against anyone or anybody that would attempt to do so.

The fact that we live in a society today where the rights to freedom and the right to property has been so diminished, sets up todays battle lines. Control, regulate, and tax people and their property, or return those rights to the individual. Those that oppose deregulation and decentralization call for "resistance". Resistance to what?  Resistance to a return to freedom.

Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, the Clinton's and Obama's of the world are united in a battle against the supremacy of the individual. Many of the Left label it "White Supremacy". Any attempt to protect one’s life, liberty, or property is an act of sedition, in their eyes. It is, in fact just the reverse. It is the Left that is engaged in insurrection and has been for decades.

However we have not reached this point of decay by the Left alone; it is also the Right and its inconsistencies and ineptitude that has helped bring us to the sorry state of society we see before us today. It is almost impossible to hear a clear and consistent voice for freedom in the political arena, media, or American Universities.

 

The split between democrats and republicans is not the real problem. It is the split within each party that is. The Democrats believe in freedom when it comes to social issues. But they believe in Statism when it comes to economic issues. And the Republicans believe in freedom and free markets in economics, but controls and regulations over human behavior in the area of social matters.

It is this fundamental contradiction that has prevented the US from moving toward more freedom and it is this contradiction in both parties that has led to the mess we see before us today. Donald Trump is a perfect example of our inconsistencies as a nation. He wants to drastically reduce controls, regulations and taxes, and decentralize government, while at the same time imposing protectionist policies on Americans.

 

Until this week, President Trump has not used force in any of his executive orders. His mandates have been to decrease the power of government and increase the degree of freedom individuals have. His protectionist executive order this week was the use of force against individuals and it decreases freedom on large groups of people. He, in the name of protecting the American worker decided to side with the exporters of this country and against the importers. He decided NOT to represent the American worker equally. 

Playing favorites and picking winners and losers, something Republicans vigorously accused Democrats of and denounced, is what protectionism is all about. He, in this process, is benefiting manufactures at the expense of retailers. He is helping manufacture employees but hurting retail employees, and as such, hurting low income consumers that shop at Wal-Mart and other low-price retailers. His steel decree will benefit the steel industry but raise the price of everything steel is used for, thereby hurting millions of consumers of cars, refrigerators, etc.

He demands that we "buy American" even if our goods are inferior or a lot more expensive than imported goods. And he demands we make products here in the USA even if we are not competitive and foreign companies are. And of course "dumping” is completely taboo, even though it benefits our consumers and lowers our prices at the expense of foreigners who are forced to subsidize our consumers. That will all be done away with by the dictates of Donald Trump.

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross when challenged that this is protectionism, argues what all protectionists argue, that Europe and Japan, are far more protectionist than we are. Well, how has that worked out for them? They have had stagnant economies and sky-high unemployment for decades. Gary Cohn followed by saying, "If we export a car abroad they levy a huge tariff on that car. If we import a car we tax them very little. That's not fair!”, he said. “ We want reciprocal trade". So, in other words, we are prepared to tax our consumers as much as socialist-protectionist nations tax theirs.

President Trump has been applauded by those he helps, which is a fraction of the workforce, and by labor unions that approve of force as a means to getting what they want rather than through free market competition. A move toward protectionism is a move away from freedom and prosperity. Unfortunately, this is probably only the beginning of arm twisting and new import taxes and restrictions on this country’s consumers and import industry. If pervasive it will lead to higher unemployment and to recession, at the minimum.

 

It is this kind of inconsistency that plagues America, and has for over a hundred years. The problem is, it is getting worse. When Donald Trump shocked the world and won the presidency, Republicans felt they had saved the country from socialism. The Democrats feared they had lost the battle for fairness and justice. Neither is true.

America is captive to its present day ideology, in which both political parties are pitted against themselves. As such they are pitted against the American people. Just look at the Eurozone and its decades of stagnation if you want to see what contradictory economies look like. Or Japan that has been stagnant for three decades. Or even better look at the mid-east if you want an example of centuries of contradictory and self-defeating ideology.

If America is going to progress, it needs to return to its roots ideologically. It needs a consistent set of principles and it needs to practice them. I suggest starting with a strict interpretation of the constitution and begin teaching these principles in schools, and ourselves practicing personal responsibility and adopting a live-let-live philosophy.

America began that journey under Ronald Reagan as it turned away from the socialist and interventionist policies of the 60’s and 70’s. That led to the prosperity of the 80’s and 90’s. For the last decade we have veered far from that path.

The question today is “can we find our way back?”

Paul Nathan

Paulnathan.biz