Friday, November 16, 2012

You've Come A Long Way, Baby

There's been much post-election wailing that we as a nation have reached a tipping point and are now on the road to perdition socialism. There may be some validity in that viewpoint, but sometimes it helps to take a step back and gain a little perspective.
In 1962, the government regulated the price and route of every airplane, every freight train, every truck and every merchant ship in the United States. The government regulated the price of natural gas. It regulated the interest on every checking account and the commission on every purchase or sale of stock. Owning a gold bar was a serious crime that could be prosecuted under the Trading with the Enemy Act. The top rate of income tax was 91%.

It was illegal to own a telephone. Phones had to be rented from the giant government-regulated monopoly that controlled all telecommunications in the United States. All young men were subject to the military draft and could escape only if they entered a government-approved graduate course of study...

...the United States of 2012 is a freer country in almost every way than the United States of 1962.

Some might argue we've gone too far, or at least are headed that way, in terms of social 'freedom' -- that is, forced equality of outcome rather than equality of opportunity, an overly comprehensive social safety net, a smothering regulatory environment, and so forth. I wouldn't necessarily disagree.

But my counter argument is that we've come a long way in the right direction over the last fifty years, that this last election was actually a lot closer than many realize (less than 500,00 votes in key swing states separated the candidates - in other words, 500,000 more votes for Romney in those states would have given him enough electoral votes to win), and that political and social trends are cyclical.

Hang in there. Better times are coming ... eventually.


Old NFO said...

Question is, will we LIVE long enough to see it???

CenTexTim said...

Of course we will. Obamacare will take great care of us...