Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Two New Posts In One: "Hear! Hear!" and "The World Will Love Us Again"

Hear! Hear!

Hear is a link to an analysis of what ails our economy from a view point very few have considered. The author states that the real source of our current economic problems are rooted in America's low birth rate. Single parent families, which are not characterized by saving, are replacing two-parent households. Also, people are waiting longer to marry and are having fewer kids. Along with this trend comes a preference for urban living. These trends are not yet reversible in the U.S., but they are significant enough to prevent a Housing recovery in certain areas of the country. The author states that it is not enough just to criticize the President's economic policies. The country must be told "You are poorer because you failed to bring up enough children. The decline of the traditional family is undermining the traditional economy." The Government must promote policies that serve traditional families and promote their formation and maintenance. The public must be warned of the consequences of burdening an ever shrinking working-age population with the support of a more numerous older population.

Many Christians have been sold on having big families and abstaining from birth control. Just now I have come across a Newsweek article on the subject. (The link that caught my eye said "Christian's Militant Fecundity.") While the tone of the article is not necessarily supportive, it is good that evidence exists that many Evangelicals are resisting the temptation to practice birth control.

It is not just Evangelical Christians who oppose birth control. Many in the secular world do too. In a Political Science class I took at West Virginia University, an anti- Christian professor cited evidence of the harmful effect birth control can have on a society. A friend of mine took a class called "Population Geography " at West Virginia University which presented evidence of the fatal effects of population control all over the world. In fact, many of the countries in Africa that have experienced famine have not been those with the greatest populations, but those with the lowest population densities.

The author of the article on the economy also made another important point Conservatives should heed. "The Republican Party has been reluctant to take on moral issues that separate conservative libertarians and religious conservatives." Many religious Conservatives are being drawn to the Libertarian message without understanding that a major tenet of Libertarian thought has been atheism. Libertarianism demands that all economic activity be completely unshackled from government intervention. Many Libertarians have such a high view of man that they reject the Biblical doctrine of original sin; they believe his capacities are unlimited. The most prominent example is Ayn Rand, author of "Atlas Shrugged." Many view this book as prophetic in light of our current economic crises and the Government's response. Yet her view of capitalism and man was formed from her atheistic world view. (She once told William F. Buckley that he was too smart to believe in God.) In fact, one of her disciples was Allan Greenspan, who helped bring about the current crises. While there are exceptions, such as Ron Paul, Libertarians have generally advocated not only that man's economic activity be unrestricted, but man's personal behavior should be free from government interference. Hence, many Libertarians oppose restrictions on abortion and drug use, genuine Conservatives do not. Genuine Conservatives believe that Government does play a role in the economy, but that its role is severely restricted by Constitutional guidelines.

The World Will Love Us Again

President Obama promised that he would pursue policies that would regain the respect the U.S. lost under George Bush. Many people across the globe celebrated his victory along with his supporters in this country. The irony is that the policies Obama is now pursuing may prove disastrous to many in the developing world who welcomed his election. The President's policies insure that the U.S. will have to borrow heavily from global capital markets. This will prevent money from going to poorer nations, causing them to experience dire economic consequences. President Clinton devalued the Mexican Peso, plunging Mexico into economic chaos and generating heightened anti-American sentiment. The policies of the current President who promised that the world will love us again may lead to world-wide anti-Americanism.

More irony to follow. China is warning us not to do damage to the developing world. Chinese leaders claim that they will champion the cause of poor nations against American policies that hurt them economically. That's all we need. China becoming a rival with us for the good will of the world. This could have huge strategic consequences if key third world nations align with China against America. Our interests could be hampered all over the world as nations refuse to cooperate with us on military campaigns, diplomatic initiatives and economic projects. China has been sending their companies over to countries in Africa for construction projects. U.S. companies could be frozen out in the bidding process to work in developing countries. It is also ironic that Communist China has to lecture Capitalist America not to spend too much. It seems that American overspending would devalue China's investment in the U.S. since it is the biggest holder of our national debt.

And on another economic note: President Obama's new budget will raise the number of Americans not paying taxes from 38% to 50%. At first glance, this sounds great. No one likes to pay taxes. But what are the consequences? A majority of the American people will have no personal stake in the amount the Federal Government spends. Obama and future Presidents could then raise taxes on a specified minority (the rich) which would appear to have no effect on the rest of us. He could tax and spent without limit without political accountability. If the rich are thus taxed, the rest of the public might not care. The problem? The rich are the producers of wealth in this country and if they are thus penalized, the U.S. would be reduced to a socialistic state along the lines of European countries. The rich are the main source of employment and if they are thus taxed, they will hire fewer and fewer workers. Workers who would utilize their creativity to improve life and productivity would refuse to do work that would raise their income level, fearing they would thus make more money and be subject to taxation.In such a state, we would be even less able to help the developing world rise out of its poverty.

Yes, President Obama promised to regain the world's respect. But if he turns the U.S. into a third rate economic power unable to defend its interests abroad, then who in the rest of the world will respect America. Perhaps a few European intellectuals.

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