0 Items  Total: $0.00

Current Events

The Legacy of 2013?

January 8th, 2014 // 1:31 pm @

drowning laws 300x231 The Legacy of 2013? The year 2013 is over, and it may go down in history as another drastically negative year like 1913. The hundred year itch? Maybe.

The year started out with high political drama as Republicans and Democrats argued late into the nights on January 1 and 2 in search of a fiscal cliff agreement.

In May and June we watched a domino series of major scandals, including the IRS targeting of conservative groups and the revelation that the NSA is consistently spying on all American citizens.

The drama didn’t let up over the summer, culminating in the widely watched government shutdown in October.

Then came the rollout of Obamacare, and the fact that no, you can’t “keep your doctor, or your insurance company,” no matter what the President promised.

Many Americans lost all faith in politicians — all of them.

But the worst news came in December, with the little-publicized announcement of the two major things that will most likely stand out about 2013:

  1. First, China landed a probe on the moon, symbolizing a new level of Chinese expansion into world leadership.
  2. Second, the news came out that during 2013 state governments in the United States passed over 40,000 new laws.

That’s not a typo. It’s 40,000 new laws — which means five times that many regulations when all the agencies of government write these laws into agency policies. It’s even more if you add the new federal laws.

Taken together, these signal a serious period of decline for America. We are a nation being overtaken by our biggest competitor (some would say future enemy) China, and simultaneously mired in skyrocketing levels of regulation.

Governments, federal and state, now seem determined to regulate and overregulate every facet of our lives — private and business. Many entrepreneurs, who were already reeling from reams of Obamacare regulations, are now facing more government red tape from every flank.

The free enterprise economy is literally under siege. Those who think this is exaggerated should try to open a significant new business in the United States. Most of the biggest entrepreneurs and corporations who have attempted this recently have decided to build in China or some other economy instead. The U.S. government has become generally hostile to business.

This is a strange reality for the land of the free and the home of the brave. Long considered the bastion of world freedom and economic opportunity, America is consistently less appealing to many businesses and investors.

The December 31, 2013 issue of USA Today summarized this overarching trend by saying that “aristocracy” is now “in” in America.

Aristocracy, really? That’s a bold statement. Yet it is increasingly true. The lower classes are more dependent on government, and the middle classes only survive by using debt. Only the upper class, the elites, are financially flourishing — and many of them rely on international investment that is growing in foreign economies.

Anyone relying on the U.S. economy right now is concerned. What will the escalating rollout of Obamacare bring? How many more government regulations will come in 2014, and how will this further weaken the economy?

The experts are finally taking notice of sharply rising levels of regulation, even if Washington isn’t.

For example, Francis Fukuyama called our time “The Great Unravelling” (The American Interest, Jan/Feb 2014) and Steven M. Teles called it “Kludgeocracy in America” (National Affairs, Fall 2013). We have become a Kludgeocracy indeed, with more business-killing regulation every week.

In The Discovery of Freedom, Rose Wilder Lane said that,

“Men in Government who imagine that they are controlling a planned economy must prevent economic progress—as, in the past, they have always done.”

What is her definition of a planned economy? Answer: modern France, Britain, and the United States. She quoted Henry Thomas Buckle, who wrote:

“In every quarter, and at every moment, the hand of government was felt. Duties on importation, and on exportation; bounties to raise up a losing trade, and taxes to pull down a remunerative one; this branch of industry forbidden, and that branch of industry encouraged; one article of commerce must not be grown because it was grown in the colonies, another article might be grown and bought, but not sold again, while a third article might be bought and sold, but not leave the country.

“Then, too, we find laws to regulate wages; laws to regulate prices; laws to regulate the interest of money…The ports swarmed with [government officials], whose sole business was to inspect nearly every process of domestic industry, to peer into every package, and tax every article…”

This was written about France, just before it lost its place as the world’s most powerful nation, and it was published as a warning to Britain, just before it lost it’s superpower status. This quote applies perfectly to America today.

Great nations in decline need innovation and entrepreneurialism, but instead they choose anti-innovation and anti-entrepreneurial regulation. It’s amazing how every nation repeats this well-known but addictive path of self-destruction.

As Lane Kenworthy argues in Foreign Affairs, opponents of bigger government “are fighting a losing battle.” In the near future, he says,

“More Americans will work in jobs with low pay, will lose a job more than once during their careers, and will reach retirement age with little savings.”

But this will be offset, he suggests, by more vacation days, less working hours each week, and more government programs that pay for many of these people’s needs.

Many of the experts agree — he U.S. economy isn’t going to boom anytime soon, but this will be balanced for investors by significant economic successes in Mexico, South Korea, Poland, Turkey, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Thailand, among other places.

All of this adds up to an America on the verge of what Paul Kennedy called the “fall of great powers”: overreach in international affairs that spends much of the nation’s prosperity, and simultaneously too much government regulation at home — shutting down a nation’s innovative/entrepreneurial class at the same time that the government taxes and spends more and more.

This same pattern brought down the top leader status of Spain, France, Britain and the Soviet Union. Before these, it brought down Athens, Rome, and the Ottoman Empire. Unless the United States changes course, it is following this same blueprint for decline.

When historians look back on 2013, they may well see it as the tipping point to a rapid American downturn. Partisan conflicts, government spying on its own people, drastic government spending, constantly increasing regulation, the rapid rise of China — any of these could fuel real decline. Together they may be insurmountable.

But one thing stands out: In a nation desperately in need of innovation and entrepreneurial initiative, the government is handing out innovation-blocking regulations at a breakneck pace.

The good news in all this is that entrepreneurs don’t give up easily. Tenacity is part of their DNA. The future will be determined by this race between politicians (increasing regulations) and entrepreneurs (innovation and prosperity).

Whoever wins will lead the 21st Century.

*******************

odemille The Legacy of 2013? Oliver DeMille is the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestselling co-author of LeaderShift: A Call for Americans to Finally Stand Up and Lead, the co-founder of the Center for Social Leadership, and a co-creator of TJEd.

Among many other works, he is the author of A Thomas Jefferson Education: Teaching a Generation of Leaders for the 21st Century, The Coming Aristocracy, and FreedomShift: 3 Choices to Reclaim America’s Destiny.

Oliver is dedicated to promoting freedom through leadership education. He and his wife Rachel are raising their eight children in Cedar City, Utah.

Share and Enjoy:
  • email link The Legacy of 2013?
  • printfriendly The Legacy of 2013?
  • pdf The Legacy of 2013?
  • facebook The Legacy of 2013?
  • linkedin The Legacy of 2013?
  • twitter The Legacy of 2013?

Category : Aristocracy &Blog &Business &Citizenship &Current Events &Economics &Entrepreneurship &Government &Politics

Ted Cruz and Mike Lee are Heroes.

October 12th, 2013 // 3:11 pm @

Lee Curz Ted Cruz and Mike Lee are Heroes.by Oliver DeMille

At some point, America is going to have to face reality. We can’t keep increasing government spending, debt, and borrowing without eventually paying for it. But the problem is deep:

When Americans are asked if they want to get rid of our $17 trillion debt and huge deficits, they say, “Yes.”

When they are told that we need to cut any actual government spending program, any program, they say, “No.”

What gives? Essentially, Americans want to get more from government but pay less. Ted Cruz was popular among conservatives when he stood against Obamacare, but when the media pushed back, conservative support decreased.

Mike Lee was popular in his home state when he took the same stand vocally, but his popularity decreased a little when he took real action to help slow the negative facets of Obamacare. Other leaders have seen the same thing.

Too many of the American people want our leaders to reduce our out-of-control debt and deficits, but they don’t want it to be hard. They want it to be easy. They support those who talk tough, but withdraw support when a leader takes courageous action.

Mike Lee, Ted Cruz, and others, including a number of House Republicans, who take a stand against expanding government are heroes, pure and simple. This is true of anyone, from any party, who stands for what our nation really needs. Their stand against the expansion of big government deserves a lot more support.

Our national economic problems are going to get worse and worse until leaders take a stand to reduce spending and borrowing. But when some leaders do this, popular opinion frequently turns against them. If this remains true, Americans deserve the economic difficulties that will keep growing. If we want something better, we need to stand up for it.

Instead of complaining that our leaders don’t do enough of the right things, we need to strongly support the few leaders who actually do take action. Instead of repeating the national mantra, “Why can’t everyone just get along in Washington?,” we need to be the kind of citizens who know that a better future is worth fighting for. Thank goodness some of our leaders understand this.

Lee or Cruz for president. Or, if you’re a Democrat, look up the recent speeches of Joe Manchin. Bring in Paul, Rubio, Ryan, and anyone else who is standing for common sense. We need to stand behind leaders, regardless of party, who actually see what is needed and do something about it—regardless of how it plays in the polls. Those who do this are today’s heroes.

 

*******************

odemille Ted Cruz and Mike Lee are Heroes. Oliver DeMille is the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestselling co-author of LeaderShift: A Call for Americans to Finally Stand Up and Lead, the co-founder of the Center for Social Leadership, and a co-creator of TJEd.

Among many other works, he is the author of A Thomas Jefferson Education: Teaching a Generation of Leaders for the 21st Century, The Coming Aristocracy, and FreedomShift: 3 Choices to Reclaim America’s Destiny.

Oliver is dedicated to promoting freedom through leadership education. He and his wife Rachel are raising their eight children in Cedar City, Utah.

Share and Enjoy:
  • email link Ted Cruz and Mike Lee are Heroes.
  • printfriendly Ted Cruz and Mike Lee are Heroes.
  • pdf Ted Cruz and Mike Lee are Heroes.
  • facebook Ted Cruz and Mike Lee are Heroes.
  • linkedin Ted Cruz and Mike Lee are Heroes.
  • twitter Ted Cruz and Mike Lee are Heroes.

Category : Blog &Citizenship &Current Events &Economics &Government &Independents &Leadership &Politics &Prosperity

The Death of The Middle Class

July 19th, 2013 // 10:51 am @

Columnist Joe Klein said on The Chris Matthews Show:

“This is the biggest problem that we’re facing going forward. We were a homogenous, middle class country, by and large, for the fifty years after World War II.

“Now we’re no longer homogenous, and there’s a good aspect to that in that we have become a true multiracial country. But there’s a bad aspect to that, in that the middle class, which was the heart of this country, is beginning to fracture, and to panic, in many ways.

“And unless we figure out a way to find jobs for the vast middle class in this country, it’s going to be really hard to sustain democracy. We now have a plutocracy in this country.”

This is exactly true, and many Americans feel Wall Street and Washington are working together against the middle class.

Worse, many people aren’t sure that any solution is ahead.

Many experts suggest that education can solve the class divide, but the people realize that most schools are actually increasing the gap between elites and the rest.

Modern schooling has become a huge part of the problem, not a solution.

The only real solution is a widespread shift from the employee mentality to entrepreneurship.

As David Ignatius points out, many immigrants to America see the United States as a great place to start businesses.

Sadly, most native-born Americans are afraid of entrepreneurship and feel that jobs should be plentiful—as if it were a birthright.

The future of American freedom hinges on this question: will the current generation of Americans embrace entrepreneurialism, or will we keep whining about Washington while waiting for more jobs to somehow appear?

Is the American spirit dead, or is free enterprise still one of our greatest American traditions?

Only the regular people can make this choice.

***********************************

odemille 133x195 custom The Death of The Middle ClassOliver DeMille is the chairman of the Center for Social Leadership and co-creator of Thomas Jefferson Education.

He is the author of A Thomas Jefferson Education: Teaching a Generation of Leaders for the 21st Century, and The Coming Aristocracy: Education & the Future of Freedom.

Oliver is dedicated to promoting freedom through leadership education. He and his wife Rachel are raising their eight children in Cedar City, Utah.

Share and Enjoy:
  • email link The Death of The Middle Class
  • printfriendly The Death of The Middle Class
  • pdf The Death of The Middle Class
  • facebook The Death of The Middle Class
  • linkedin The Death of The Middle Class
  • twitter The Death of The Middle Class

Category : Aristocracy &Blog &Business &Citizenship &Culture &Current Events &Economics &Entrepreneurship &Featured &Leadership &Producers

Losing Faith in Washington?

June 17th, 2013 // 12:07 pm @

big brother poster 204x300 Losing Faith in Washington?President Obama’s fundamental argument since his campaign and through his first term and second campaign has been that our society can benefit more from government than it has in the past.

This is an easy sell in Europe, but not so much in the United States.

The framers mistrusted government, and felt that freedom can only last in a society where the people keep a close eye on all government activity.

But in the last few decades, many Americans have become used to increasing government benefits and programs.

The majority now votes for more government, not less.

Recent events have put a bit of a damper on the big government argument, however.

With scandals piling up like dominoes, from IRS targeting and Benghazi to AP phone records and PRISM to surveillance of Americans’ private emails and phone calls, the people are returning to a concern about Big Brother.

Even a number of strong supporters of the Obama Administration are calling for a new look at the current trajectory.

For example, Chris Matthews called on President Obama to take responsibility for his Administration’s actions, and the New York Times Editorial Board wrote: “The administration has now lost all credibility on this issue. Mr. Obama is proving the truism that the executive branch will use any power it is given and very likely abuse it.”

Both the Bush and Obama Administrations overreached their powers, and in fact such abuses go back to the Clinton, Bush I and earlier administrations.

In short, Washington is in some ways out of control, and our freedoms are at stake.

In the face of all these scandals, President Obama has told the American people that these are simply the normal “inconveniences” of keeping our nation safe.

Note that this is the argument used by many throughout history who wanted to increase the power of government over its people.

But there is a big difference between this round of scandals and those that have come in past decades.

Amazingly, the White House isn’t acting as if it is under siege.

As David Brooks wrote on June 6 in The New York Times:

“There’s a weird calm around Washington these days. The Obama administration only has a year before the lame-duck status sets in. Yet you don’t get a sense of urgency.

“White House officials seem busy running the government, but they are not filling the public space with a transformational second-term agenda. Republican leaders aren’t offering bold plans either.”

The current Administration has lost its credibility concerning its main purpose—to expand the role of government.

Still, many people really do want government to do more for them.

As long as the majority believes in ever-expanding government, it is going to endure scandals and keep electing leaders who will deliver.

***********************************

odemille 133x195 custom Losing Faith in Washington?Oliver DeMille is the chairman of the Center for Social Leadership and co-creator of Thomas Jefferson Education.

He is the author of A Thomas Jefferson Education: Teaching a Generation of Leaders for the 21st Century, and The Coming Aristocracy: Education & the Future of Freedom.

Oliver is dedicated to promoting freedom through leadership education. He and his wife Rachel are raising their eight children in Cedar City, Utah.

Share and Enjoy:
  • email link Losing Faith in Washington?
  • printfriendly Losing Faith in Washington?
  • pdf Losing Faith in Washington?
  • facebook Losing Faith in Washington?
  • linkedin Losing Faith in Washington?
  • twitter Losing Faith in Washington?

Category : Blog &Current Events &Featured &Government &Leadership &Politics

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Big Government

June 17th, 2013 // 12:01 pm @

City Council 300x237 A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Big GovernmentLocal government is increasingly the place where things are getting done.

As the party system has created gridlock in Washington, less is getting accomplished on Capitol Hill.

In a funny way, this has created a situation that is more like the American Founding era than anything we’ve experienced in over a century—the real place to get things done in government is at the local and state levels.

The bad news is that Washington continues to spend, borrow, inflate the currency by printing money, and over-regulate in nearly every facet of modern life.

Its growth is slowed by partisan conflicts, but it hasn’t started shrinking.

Not by a long shot.

Another piece of bad news is that the national parties and their teams are pushing their agenda even more vigorously at the local levels.

This means that the party controlling the White House will have a much larger budget and ability to promote national goals in each city, county and state.

The good news is that regular people can have more influence and make more of a difference at the local and even state level.

Most citizens have long felt they can’t really do much to improve Washington—the national government is just too big, too far removed, too immune to change.

But at the local level it’s a different story.

People who really want to get involved can make a major impact on local government.

The key is consistency.

Those who keep at it will eventually learn how to be effective, and as they involve their friends and colleagues they can become a real force for good.

This system, with a lot of citizen involvement at the local level, is what the American founding fathers envisioned.

In a strange way, it is now becoming more of a reality.

As David Brooks wrote in The New York Times, “The happiest people these days are those who leave Washington and get elected mayor or governor. The most frustrated people are people who were mayor and governor and get elected in the Senate. They end each day knowing they were busy. They’re just not sure they accomplished anything.”

Local government is the new power center, and regular people who want to make a real difference can now do so at levels not seen for over a century.

Get involved.

It’s unclear how long this new reality will last, but for now there is a window of power for concerned citizens.

***********************************

odemille 133x195 custom A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Big GovernmentOliver DeMille is the chairman of the Center for Social Leadership and co-creator of Thomas Jefferson Education.

He is the author of A Thomas Jefferson Education: Teaching a Generation of Leaders for the 21st Century, and The Coming Aristocracy: Education & the Future of Freedom.

Oliver is dedicated to promoting freedom through leadership education. He and his wife Rachel are raising their eight children in Cedar City, Utah.

Share and Enjoy:
  • email link A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Big Government
  • printfriendly A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Big Government
  • pdf A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Big Government
  • facebook A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Big Government
  • linkedin A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Big Government
  • twitter A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Big Government

Category : Blog &Citizenship &Community &Constitution &Current Events &Featured &Government &Independents &Leadership &Liberty &Mini-Factories &Politics

Subscribe Via RSS & Email

Click the icon on the left to subscribe in an RSS reader, or have new articles delivered to your inbox by entering your email address: