As a child growing up in the 1970s, I was always taught that Franklin Roosevelt was a great president – largely because his New Deal policies lifted us out of the Great Depression. But my teachers never told me that Roosevelt raised the top income tax rate to 79 percent before raising it to 90 percent.
The year after the 1929 stock market crash, unemployment was less than nine percent. It would not fall below that level until our nation was involved in World War II. In fact, unemployment would peak at 24.9 percent during FDR’s first year in office. Now that unemployment is rising to levels approaching those of the early days of the Great Depression, we are in grave danger. The statist welcomes each oncoming crisis as an excuse to grow the state at the expense of individual liberty.
America’s very real economic crisis comes at a singularly inopportune time. It threatens to feed economic statism at a time when enviro-statism is on the rise. Mark Levin coined the term enviro-statism in his recent book Liberty and Tyranny. It is a term one must understand if one is to comprehend fully the statist agenda and its threat to constitutional liberty.
Those of us who lived in the 1970s recall the establishment of the EPA during the first year of that decade. Needing something to justify it existence, the EPA banned DDT in 1972. The ban was, of course, in response to Rachel Carson’s 1962 book Silent Spring, which argued that children were especially vulnerable to cancer – all without specific evidence that DDT was causing cancer in children.
With each passing year it is becoming more and more obvious that the ban on DDT has killed millions of children – especially in Africa – by crippling our ability to fight malaria. The home where Carson wrote Silent Spring is now a National Historical Landmark. Levin summed the situation up best when he observed, “There are no landmarks or memorials for those who suffered or perished from the banning of DDT.”
But the statist does not understand what Mark Levin is saying. The statist fails to recognize unalienable rights, which come from a Creator. To him, the creed “earth first” is more meaningful.
Nor does the statist understand the concept of the trade-off. His smug arrogance allows him an unlimited confidence in his capacity to find a “solution” to a “problem.” That is why Greenpeace statists campaigned against the incandescent light bulb in India. The fact that it emits carbon dioxide was a problem. So they proposed a ban as a solution.
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