According to Goethe, “Nothing is more terrible than to see ignorance in action.”
No doubt Goethe would have been twice as appalled to see two different but similarly insensible forces acting in combination.
That’s what’s happening today as organized labor lends its considerable resources to train, fund and direct the fatuous Occupy movement.
These bedfellows are not so different as they might first seem. Both Labor and Occupy bemoan a dilapidated economy that can’t create jobs; both blame capitalism for the paucity of those jobs, and both are bent on a series of actions that assures the U.S. never sees the jobs they each claim to want.
Their miscomprehension starts with who they blame.
It’s true that some on Wall Street engaged in fraudulent conduct and financial misrepresentation to enhance their own obscene levels of compensation.
But ultimately, responsibility for our economic mess lies squarely with our own government’s policies of unsustainable debt, mass entitlement and high taxes.
Our federal debt is almost $15 trillion -- $500 billion more than our nation’s gross domestic product. Most economists agree that when a nation’s debt approaches 100% of its GDP, government spending is unsustainable and economic growth is severely stunted. We passed the 100% level earlier this year without even slowing down, and that doesn’t begin to consider the eventual costs of Obama care and yet-to-come stimulus programs.
The political problem with stopping this free-for-all in its tracks is two fold. First, government is growing and many politicians in Washington like it that way. Second, entitlement programs are out of control. More than 50% of Americans now receive a check from the government. Too few politicians will go up against that reality. By any arithmetic, if more than 50% of the voters are against you, you lose.
On top of a disastrous debt, we’ve ladled on a disastrous tax system that sucks 28% of our GDP into a black hole of government bureaucracy.
This heavy burden of huge debt, out-of-control entitlements and high taxes damages any chance our economy has to recover.