Saturday, July 16, 2011

Peggy Noonan is usually sensible and eloquent, but in today's column she makes the fundamental error that Americans of good will have been making for 80 years, giving in to others for the sake of reaching a compromise. At some point, however, there can't be any more giving in without hitting the tipping point, what judges call the "slippery slope." Unfortunately we may have already reached that point and another step will take us beyond the point of no return. I once heard Milton Friedman speak of an assignment he was given to study the collapse of Chile's economy after it elected Salvador Allende in 1970. His Marxist policies resulted in economic chaos and the violent overthrow of his government. Friedman's conclusion was that Chile's collapse had come so quickly because its economy was small and weak. He pointed out that the economic troubles of Britain had the same roots but had taken much longer to come to a crisis because Britain had begun with such a strong economy.

His main point was that the same processes were at work in the United States but would take longer to bring us to the same place because we had the strongest economy of the three. I doubt he would have predicted it coming in 30 years, but it is upon us unless we reverse course. All this has been because the politics of bread and circuses has proven so attractive to Americans that they would sell their votes for the illusion of gifts from government. Last year we started to come to our senses and elected a GOP majority in the House of Representatives, the peoples' house. But the conflict has now reached the point where the GOP has always backed down and allowed Socialism to ratchet up another notch. I don't know how many notches are left for us, but there may not be another chance like this to stem the tide. Our population is so evenly balanced that it could swing either way, the way of self-reliance and independence or that of further dependence in the disguise of liberty. This is no time for deals.