Two Possible Solutions and the More Likely Outcome (Originally Posted 7 Nov 2012)

I’ll admit it.  I got my hopes up, and I shouldn’t have.

Until early October, I was absolutely convinced that there was no way in HELL that Mitt Romney could win the election.  While I thought he was the best candidate the Republicans put up and immeasurably better equipped to turn around the economy than Barak Obama, the odds were clearly stacked against him.  That the Fourth Estate (ie the press) was so blatantly in the bag for Obama caused me to feel certain that a turn back from the coming disaster was impossible.

Then came the Denver debate.  The reaction was so strong and the movement in the polls was so significant, that I thought maybe, just MAYBE, the American people had been awakened from their stupor and finally come to their senses.  Through the month of October things only continued to look more promising, despite the media’s obvious attempts to downplay the narrowing of the gap.

But every time I looked at the chart at the Iowa Futures Market, I couldn’t believe my eyes.  It still showed Obama with a huge advantage, and although it narrowed somewhat in the first half of October, it had widened again in the 2 weeks before the election.  How was that possible?

Despite my better judgement, I still held out hope.  I couldn’t believe that people could knowingly barrel full speed ahead off the coming cliff.  And do it with their children and future grandchildren sitting in the car alongside them.

But barrel over the cliff the American public seems hell bent on doing.  Whether blindly or knowingly doesn’t really matter.  The laws of gravity apply equally to both cases.

Today there is a lot of post election analysis by the punditocracy.  I like is this piece by Victor Davis Hanson.  I agree with his ultimate diagnosis.  And with his suggested solution, although I’d like to offer a couple variances on the theme.

Hanson suggests that the solution “may be insolvency . . . and self correction after some dark Greek-like years.”  Ideally, in my mind, this would happen sooner than later.  How?  We have the blueprint – it was written 55 years ago and has been the best selling book in print besides the Bible since that time. It is time for the makers to go out on strike and see how long the takers can survive on their own.

Another possible solution would be dissolution of the union or secession.  Look at the electoral map. There is clearly a large and I think intractable divide in this country (and I think it is kind of scary that if you looked at it on a county by county basis, there really isn’t too much Blue on the map, other than the major metropolitan areas).  There are now very different views on the role of government and the rights and responsibilities of individuals between the red and blue regions of the country.  And I think this election is the tipping point of no return.

So I think the conservative portions and the liberal portions of the country need to separate and pursue the alternative paths.  I’m not trying to sound alarm bells like some crazy tea party secessionist. But I am suggesting that an alternative to the VDH road to insolvency is to return, in a sense, to the original federalist concept that established the sovereignity of the individual states. The two sides will never agree on whose model is right – although I would argue that the current financial condition in Europe (or California or Illinois) is a pretty good lens into the future of the liberal model. Let the two sides run independently, maybe in every way, and let’s see which model proves to be the more dynamic and self-sustaining.

There is no immutable law that says the land mass that is currently the United States will forever into the future exist as a single sovereign entity. My guess is those who want to produce and want to be fairly rewarded for their production rather than demonized for it, will choose to locate in the conservative portion of the country formerly known as the United States.

Neither of those scenarios seems likely (though I wish that wasn’t the case).  To the best of my knowledge there is no John Galt running around convincing the makers to go on strike (and no Francisco D’Anconia’s hanging back in the aftermath to purposely drive things to the ground more quickly). And although some, such as Rick Perry in Texas, have on occasion floated the idea of secession, I think that is fantasy (could be different in the not too distant future when the People’s Republic of California asks the US Government to make the pension obligations to retired PRC employees the responsibility of the rest of the country).

Instead, I am back to Hanson’s vision as the more likely outcome.  The makers will continue to do the best they can, in spite of the vilification.  That is what they are wired to do.  How else do you explain someone sacrificing everything else in their life, working 80, 90, 100 hours a week on their passion? They will rationalize that keeping 60%, or 55%, or 50%, or up to $200,000 of what they earn, is still better than being a short order cook at some diner out on the highway or a janitor. Ayn Rand called this the “sanction of the victim.”  The makers allow themselves to be raped and they accept as “just the way things are.”

So, it will continue in this fashion I think.  Until finally the weight of the colossal federal government and all the entitlements, hand outs, party favors, and pork implodes in on itself.

I’m here to see the beginning of the end.  Hope the rest happens fast enough that I am still here to see the end of the end.  As I said before, the sooner the better.  If not for my sake, for the sake of my children and my children’s children.


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