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History's Cesspool of Bad Ideas: Socialism and Corporate Social Responsibility

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of

On Valentine’s Day, I like to think positive thoughts. So, I would like to believe that even the dark cloud known as the “stimulus package” may have a silver lining. With the “package” wrapped up nice and pretty and agreed to by both the House and Senate, some folks are actually taking the time to read the small print on all 1,071 pages of the legislation.

From what I can tell from news reports about the contents of the final bill, it is clear that what really got stimulated over the past several weeks were the bowels of the Democratic Party. Seems like every cockamamie socialist program that didn’t see the light of day during the past eight years has suddenly been disgorged into this massive trillion-dollar legislative receptacle. I suggest that we call this monumental monstrosity the Ex-Lax Act of 2009.

So, is there a silver lining in this piece of congressional crapola? Yes there is. American voters will now get a whiff of big government socialism and I believe that those who actually pay taxes, and invest their savings, may once again appreciate the attributes inherent in the system envisioned by our founding fathers—limited government, private property, personal freedom and open markets.

Some taxpayers who previously cast their ballots for “change” may start to question the messianic message of their new leaders and recognize that while the Obamanistas claim that all people are equal, what they really believe is that some people are more equal than others. Need I mention Tom Daschle and Timothy Geitner? It is easy to raise taxes and burden future generations with a mountain of debt if you happen to be among the elite party apparatchiks who rule the proletariat without abiding by . . . the rules.

Once Americans realize that big government cannot fix the mess that past social engineering programs created—to wit, forcing lending institutions to offer mortgages to those who could not afford them—I believe the current love affair with those who peddled this bill of goods will rapidly turn into a hate-hate relationship. I look forward to being there when it happens.

When Americans actually start investing in the markets again, I suspect they will not take kindly to the Corporate Social Responsibility crowd who pressured hundreds of publicly traded companies to spend hard-earned shareholder cash on socialist projects that had little to do with the bottom line. I pray that investors will relegate the Corporate Social Responsibility movement to history’s cesspool of bad ideas and once again reward CEOs who focus on making a profit rather than posing for publicity shots with left-wing political activists.

When the pendulum finally swings back toward the economic and political values that made this nation great, I hope that Americans will recognize the absolute truth in Winston Churchill’s observation that, “Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery.” If that alone is the silver lining in the dark cloud we face today, then our current suffering will have been worth the reward. If we fail as a people to experience this epiphany, then it will take more than some messianic spin-doctor to save our national soul.

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