Of Tin Pot Dictators and Two Trillion Dollars

News that I missed, courtesy of The Babylon Bee:

U.S.—According to sources, Trump is just kicking himself after promising $1000 to every American. According to a new study, 50% of conservatives would give up freedom and fiscal responsibility for much less!

After a survey of Americans who identify as conservative, it was revealed that many people would switch to socialism for less than $500, or maybe even a six-pack of beer and a pizza. It would have to be a good pizza though – like a high-quality Chicago style deep dish and a great craft brew. Freedom isn’t free, after all. 

The Trump administration is currently re-drafting its legislation to send pizza coupons and beer tickets to every American adult in exchange for another 1 trillion added to the national debt. Baptists are revolting against this legislation since they allegedly don’t drink beer. 

Go here to read the rest.  I have never regarded myself as a libertarian, as attractive as I find some elements of that anti-government philosophy.  Contemporary libertarianism is a farce that seems too often focused on drug legalization and content with Big Brother so long as “libertarians” can have their pot and opiate of choice.  Classical libertarianism was a much more serious creed.  However, I never bought into it because I knew in this Vale of Tears that strong government action was warranted on occasion in extreme situations, usually brought about by wars.  Three that come to mind in this category are the American Revolution, the Civil War and World War II.  After such emergencies then efforts should be made to get life back to normal, and governmental power back into the bottle.  As World War II demonstrated, followed almost immediately as it was by the Cold War, getting the government back into the bottle in modern times is very difficult.  However, until the guns and butter folly of the war in Vietnam and the Great Society of LBJ, attempts to restrain government after the big world wars that made ambition virtue, in Shakespeare’s phrase, met with some success.  That all such efforts have completely broken down is demonstrated by the current debacle.

Because of a flu pandemic, with dubious body count predictions shilled by an increasingly ignorant, and sensationalist, media, and by medical experts who likely should be ashamed of themselves, we have governors around the nation assuming dictatorial powers last seen in the darkest days of the Civil War, and the federal government under Trump leading the charge.  I like living in a free society, and what is happening now has small resemblance to a free society, with government shuttering businesses, restricting the movement of citizens, ordering church services to cease, suspending payments on debts, and the list could go on for a very long time.  All of this has put a bullet in the head of the best economy I have seen in my lifetime, and we now have politicians, in a presidential election year, eagerly apportioning money that is summoned as debt out of thin air, to bribe voters under the guise of repairing the damage to the economy caused by the actions of state and federal governments.  This will cost in government expenditures easily two trillion dollars, and could well be four trillion dollars.  The cost to individuals in havoc to the private sector is probably beyond calculation.

Trump’s initial instincts were correct.  Ban travel from China and take minimal steps to meet a fairly mundane flu year.  He got spooked by the collapse of the stock market and realized that minimal steps were no longer an option in the face of unified panic among almost all of the chattering classes that this was the greatest threat since, well, since the last greatest threat to throw them into a tizzy, contemporary “intellectuals” and “journalists” tending to have the historical memory of May flies.

What is truly frustrating is that there is every chance that this entire foolishness on stilts will be remembered as the way in which flu pandemics are to be dealt with, and that we will have repetitions of this every few years, at least until our economies are in total collapse, and our liberties in tatters.  I would hope that we would take much better lessons from this bizarre episode, but on March 20, in this year of grace, I am not at all optimistic.


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  1. Yes, what is happening makes little sense. It is as if our leadership has decided the way to win a war is retreat and surrender. We must be willing to accept the apparent low death rate of CV as collateral damage and get back to work.

    The concept of self isolation to flatten the curve is theory. The unintended result is the killing of our economy and Capitalism. What are doing is preparing our citizens to accept totalitarian Communism.

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