Countries and regions of the world are defined by the political ideologies they espouse. The West, for example, has for a long time stood to mean democratic and economically prosperous nations, and the Soviet Block represented a collection of communist and socialist nations, while the title of Middle East stirs up images of dictatorships, caliphates, and Sharia Law.
As different as these ideologies are, they all reside on the same spectrum, a circular spectrum like a clock. A circle diagram is the best method of illustration because in politics if you go far enough to the right or the left you will eventually end up with the same result, a dictatorship.
Do You Know What Time it is?
At 12:00 lies democracy, the only ideology under which capitalism flourishes. Democracy and capitalism have made the USA the greatest nation on earth and home of the world’s best entrepreneurs and inventors. Henry Ford, Bill Gates, Michael Dell, Steve Jobs, Benjamin Franklin, David Smith of Sinclair Broadcast group, Kamal Ali of Ben’s Chili Bowl here in Washington DC, and Madame CJ Walker just to name a few.
At 11:59 would be left wing liberals clutching dearly to their belief that more government is better government. Positioned as the “champions” of the have-nots, left wing legislation often involves entitlement spending: using taxes from those who earn their money to pay those who earn little or nothing at all.
At 12:01, right wing conservatives, championing the values of the free-market: capitalism, less government. Conservatives believe in lowering taxes, and by extension that government should be smaller. Essentially, if you work for your money you should be allowed to keep more of it and it shouldn’t be taken from you to pay for things that you don’t agree with.
At 9:00 is socialism, an ideology espoused by many of the occupy protesters that was also the way of the Chinese in the early 20th Century. Socialism is the theory that the means of production, distribution, and exchange should be owned, regulated, and managed by the community. In Marxist theory it is the transition between capitalism and communism.
At 3:00? Anarchy. No government, ultimate freedom; no laws, no protection. The Wild Wild West.
At 6:01 is communism, a system under which all property is publicly owned. Conceived with the elimination of the state in mind the end result, ironically, it is always complete state command over all facets of the governed nation.
At 5:59 we find fascism. Fascism is extreme right wing government and social organization. It brings to mind names like Mussolini and Franco.
Any political ideology, or combination thereof, in the range of 5:00 and 7:00 qualifies as a dictatorship. Regardless of direction, the closer you are to 6:00 the more freedoms and liberties you are losing, the converse is also true.
Chinais the emerging 800 pound gorilla that the world must confront. Its communo-capitalism blend has strengthened it as it has risen from the 5-6:00 zone up towards 12:00. Over the last 30 years, China has gone from a communist, economically struggling nation to the world’s largest buyer of distress debt by incorporating elements of capitalism in its socio-economic system. Buying debt allows it to be the senior secured creditor to the world (US, Europe, and Africa). Rather the question is whose debt doesn’t it own?
It seems like some are yearning for socialism where there is no fiscal accountability. Let’s not forget that fringe elements of Islam are taking over Europe. Just look at Iran, Pakistan, and Iraq: many of these Muslim nations’ extremists are permanently residing in Europe and have already started the process of taking over France and the UK. Just remember they bring with them unapologetic dictatorship.
And the good Ole USA is still the freest place in the world for now. If you don't believe that assertion, just take a look at Facebook and its revolutionary impact. A 20-year-old drops out of Harvard to start Facebook, and now he is a billionaire. Tell us any place else in the world that has created a Microsoft, Apple, Facebook, or revolutionary medical and drug technologies. The takeaway is that too much regulation and big government curtail the entrepreneurial spirit.
A prime example of what you want to become versus what you should never become is right in our back yard. People are leaving California and moving to Texas. They are leaving northern states and moving to states with lower tax rates. In effect, can't you argue that California is becoming North Korea while Texas is becoming South Korea? If you gave people the opportunity of their free will to get up and go, where would they go?
Humans migrate to places of free choice. Freedom, opportunity, and less government foster wealth and creative thinking. My concern is that if the US continues on the big government trajectory many will go outside the US to create their wealth. Let’s prevent our intellectual capital from moving overseas and demand less government, less taxes, and minimum regulation.
We, as business owners, want to lay our shingles where we can make the most of our resources, with little or no interference from big government.