Ideas Have Consequences

by | Nov 1, 2010

Ron Radosh wrote in PJM an article entitled “The Disappearance of The Emerging Democratic Majority.” Having outlined a number of facts that show the falseness of the view that America now constitutes a Democratic majority and that the GOP has been obliterated, Mr. Radosh’s concludes his article amusingly. But his article is worth noting for […]

Ron Radosh wrote in PJM an article entitled “The Disappearance of The Emerging Democratic Majority.”

Having outlined a number of facts that show the falseness of the view that America now constitutes a Democratic majority and that the GOP has been obliterated, Mr. Radosh’s concludes his article amusingly.

But his article is worth noting for another, deeper reason. It is typical of many commentators’ assessment of today’s political situation in that it fails to explain the fundamental ideas that are shifting Americans toward the GOP. Instead it dwells on present economic conditions to explain Americans’ disenchantment with the Democrat’s socialist policies and programs—best exemplified by the ill-conceived and atrociously unconstitutional new health care law.

While Mr. Radosh refers to things that are prompting Americans to turn toward the GOP, the absence of a discussion of the fundamental ideas behind those things is unfortunate. Those ideas need to be stated because without grasping them explicitly they can become lost in superficialities.

Two such ideas are best summed up in Joe the plumber’s slogan: “Distribute my work ethic, not my wealth.”

Americans have come to realize that it is wrong—morally wrong—for the government to forcibly take the earnings from those who produce values (products and services) and give that money to those who have produced nothing, or are financially irresponsible.

An example is the destructive consequences of Barney Frank’s Affordable Housing. In conjunction with Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, it caused our economic slump. It forced banks to provide risky loans to those who could not afford such a loan. The money American producers were forced to hand over caused them to sink into debt, while those who were handed the money are now being excused from their mortgage responsibilities.

That entire fiasco showed that you cannot create a healthy work ethic by forcing men to give handouts. It is wrong to insist man live for the group, the collective, other men—in short, for the state.

Another idea contained in Joe’s slogan is the recognition that wealth is created by working and thinking. A work ethic refers to a certain code of values that guide those who choose to work to earn their way.

Understanding this idea is also fueling the shift toward the Republicans. In seeing their jobs disappear, Americans realize that those who are scrambling to start fresh and create a new career are the thinking backbone of our workforce. Not only do they exert the effort to create wealth. They also accept the responsibility of thought, which creates new businesses and new jobs. They recognize, at least implicitly, that thinking is necessary in order to live. They are the self-starters. They are the spiritual brothers of the frontiersmen and 19th century producers who built this country. It was not built by welfare recipients.

Such are the two ideas that Americans have come to recognize:

1. it is wrong to force the earner to give his money to others;
2. a propersous economy depends on free men thinking of new ways to earn money.

Both ideas are essential to a free capitalist society.

We need to make certain the GOP leadership recognizes these ideas—and applies them. We must demand that they repeal the new health care law, lower taxes, begin phasing out the welfare state and begin to de-regulate. These are some of the practical applications of these two ideas. Some of the consequences will be prosperity, more freedom and less government.

Sylvia Bokor is an artist and writer. You can read more of her writings on her blog.

The views expressed above represent those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the editors and publishers of Capitalism Magazine. Capitalism Magazine sometimes publishes articles we disagree with because we think the article provides information, or a contrasting point of view, that may be of value to our readers.

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