It's 2016. The Presidential election is coming up and the talking heads, economists, and political analysts write books and chatter on tv about the great socialist expansion of the United States of America. Industries have been nationalized, and the country carries a dangerous amount of debt, much of it held by the other major global power, China. But the focus is not on Obama. It is on our 43rd President, George W. Bush.
In recent months, Bush has presided over the largest expansion of government into private industry in the history of America. We are all acutely aware of his and the Congress' penchant for spending; the deficit has spiraled upwards during his presidency, throwing out all of the old ideals of Republican fiscal restraint. But this latest intrusion of government into having a stake in so many private industries is not just another spending bender. It sets a new precedent for the nationalization of any industry the government deems necessary. In a capitalist society, this has downright ruinous implications for our future.
Capitalism thrives on free markets in which there is inherent risk and reward. The higher the risk, the higher the chance for great reward. Many innovators fail, but for the chance at grabbing the brass ring, many entreprenuers continue to strive, sometimes at great peril to their financial and personal circumstances. In a country where the government swoops in and artificially props up certain businesses and prices at taxpayer expense, risk and reward are diminished. There is only so much money the taxpayers can reasonably afford before the incentive to work harder is thwarted. And because innovators in a government funded environment cannot expect great reward, there is less incentive to go above and beyond to create that new world changing technology. If, for example, the new technology creates a life saving medicine, and government runs healthcare, there will either be price controls placed on the drug or it will be rationed to keep expenses down. The end result is less innovation, and a slower growing economy. Without new ideas and creation, the pie never grows. In countries in which government does not allow businesses to fail, taxpayers shoulder the greatest burdens, and risk and reward are mimimized, the same old worn out pieces of the pie are just shuffled around again and again.
I cannot imagine why George Bush believes this is the best road for our country to take. Perhaps he does not understand the ramifications, particularly with the looming inauguration of a President who believes down to his core that this is the direction our country should take. Perhaps he does not want the failure of so many huge businesses tarnishing his legacy. But in reality, Bush is doing the most damage to his legacy with these very actions. He is setting us about on a dangerous path, making it easier for Obama to come in and finish the job, all under the auspices of a national emergency. When we look back in 2016, we'll wonder how our country changed so fundamentally, so quickly, and with nary a peep from we the people.