At the rate that the Obama administration is moving with it's radical social agenda, it is entirely feasible that the America in which we live in 20 years will look and feel vastly different from that which we have enjoyed during our lifetimes. Eventually, even this financial crisis will pass, albeit more painfully and slowly if managed poorly by the White House. (Thus far, economists have given both Obama and Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner "F's" for their performance in handling the crisis.)
But after the USA gets back on it's financial footing, what will the aftermath of Obama's tenure look like in this country? Despite his denial of socialist beliefs, he clearly desires to move the country towards a European style social democracy. He has used the current crisis to stoke the fire of hasty action, without accountability and without debate. He will continue with this course of action, hammering down socialized healthcare, redistribution of income, devastatingly expensive energy policies, and throwing more money into a broken educational system without addressing the root causes of its failure to adequately prepare our children for the 21st century. What effect will these changes have on our lives?
While each issue can fill books, I will try to summarize the effects in a sentence or two. Healthcare will undergo dramatic changes under total government control (and make no mistake that is Obama's end goal). Everybody's health record will be available to the government via the electronic records system. The government will set up cost effectiveness models to determine which medicines, treatments, and technologies you will receive based on set criteria such as age, medical history, and expectation for recovery. Government will make these decisions for you; not your doctor who will simply be the conduit of fulfilling the government's prescription for your treatment. Rationing will be the norm, as resources will need to be spread over a larger population. To provide care for everyone will be extremely expensive; costs will INCREASE, not decrease.
Redistribution of income is a major tenet of socialism. Those who create 70% of jobs in this country, small businesses, will be taxed at the highest levels, along with individuals in the upper tiers. This will result in a net decrease in jobs, as business owners will simply not have the financial resources to hire more people. Investment will dry up, creating a weak market, upon which most of us rely for our retirement savings.
Exorbitant cap and trade regulations will drive the cost of energy through the roof, without having any net positive effect on the planet due to the inaction of other major developing countries (China and India) to curb emissions. This will result in greater hardships for those at the low end of the income scale, as more of their income is spent on necessities which will be far more expensive due to high energy costs.
Obama's pandering to the teacher's unions will result in more expensive schools, without commensurate bang for the buck. Instead of creating a market based system and allowing schools to compete for kids, money will be thrown at the unions who have no stake in educational outcome, but rather their own security and pocketbooks.
All of this will end up costing everyone more money. The debt being incurred with the current spending mentality will have to be paid back. Confiscating all of the income of the top 2% of wage earners won't come close to paying for this mess. Thus, everyone's taxes will rise to levels we have not seen in this country to mirror the tax rates in social democracies in Europe. These high taxes and failure to incentivize innovation always result in stagnant economies with a standard of living at least 30% below what the US enjoys.
So in 20 years, when your kids and grandkids ask you what you did when the country was changed from a system of incentivizing ingenuity and valuing self reliance to a stagnant nanny state of decreased opportunities and standard of living, what will you say? Will you be able to look them in the eye and tell them that you took action to try to stop the madness? Will you tell them that you contacted your government leaders and the White House over and over, that you demonstrated peacefully to show your discontent, that you spoke with people about the dangers that lay ahead? If you cannot tell them this, honestly, then who will they blame for the lost America that slipped through your hands?
So I ask you, readers, what are you doing NOW to change the course of events unfolding before our very eyes? Please leave comments, and share your ideas!