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I am a 1967 graduate of The Citadel (Distinguished Military Student, member of the Economic Honor Society, Dean's List), a 1975 graduate of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary (M.Div., magna cum laude, member of the Phi Alpha Chi academic honor society); I attended the Free University of Amsterdam and completed my History of Dogma there and then received a full scholarship from the Dutch government to transfer to the sister school in Kampen, Holland. In 1979 I graduated from the Theological Seminary of the Reformed Churches of Holland (Drs. with honors in Ethics). My New Testament minor was completed with Herman Ridderbos. I am also a 2001 Ph.D. graduate of Westminster Theological Seminary (Systematic Theology) in Philly with a dissertation on the "unio mystica" in the theology of Dr. Herman Bavinck (1854-1921). I am a former tank commander, and instructor in the US Army Armor School at Ft. Knox, KY. I have been happily married to my childhood sweetheart and best friend, Sally, for 43 years. We have 6 children, one of whom is with the Lord, and 14 wonderful grandchildren.

Friday, October 17, 2008

It’s the Economy, Stupid!

How Many Americans want to Live in Socialism?

Former-President Clinton made the sound byte “It’s the economy, stupid!” popular. In the last two weeks leading up the to 2008 election, pundits are telling us that the reason Obama’s ratings are on the rise is the economy. I don’t get it. It seems like that ought to be the reason his ratings should be tanking. Why do I say that? Well, simply because when it comes to Obama’s economic policies, he is a full-orbed socialist. Is that what American’s want in 2008? Just in terms of his economic policies, Obama will be as bad, if not worse than Lyndon B. Johnson or Jimmy Carter.

Many in the younger generation weren’t even born when Carter was President. Mr. Carter was the thirty-ninth President of the U.S. (1977-1981). Sound economists have termed his dismal administration the “epoch of misery.” Unemployment soared into double-digits, as did the interest rates. Today, the non-thinkers in America, the “nation of sheep,” only view Carter as a kindly grandfather, who is out building houses for Habitat for Humanity when he’s not out usurping protocol as a former-President by hobnobbing with Hugo Chavez or Fidel Castro. Make no mistake: Carter was a national disaster as President in a wide variety of ways, especially economically. Obama and his economic policies are cut from the same piece of (socialistic) cloth.

The real question Americans must face today, then, is quite simple: Do they want America to become dominated by Socialism or do they want a free market economy where they can all strive to make a living through personal effort and responsibility? In other words, do they want a “womb to tomb” nanny state, high unemployment, extremely high taxes, and a universal health care system that will sending doctors packing and give us long lines and sub-par health care? So that’s pretty much the question: do we want Socialism or a free market economy?

For those who find Socialism attractive, I invite you to move to a socialistic country and live there for about 5-10 years before you decide it’s a good thing. You really need to get a taste of how that system works, or rather, doesn’t work before foisting it upon this nation. Utopia doesn’t exist folks, and Socialism has failed, and failed miserably, wherever it has been implemented. Sweden, for example, is in the process of sharply cutting its corporate tax rate. Why? In order to stimulate a stagnant and stagnating economy. Sweden is also getting ready to give real tax cuts to citizens for the same reason and not the faux phantom cuts Mr. Obama is promising. Think about this: If Mr. Obama is going to give 95% of Americans a tax cut, 50% of that 95% doesn’t pay any taxes at all. So what he’s offering them is not a tax cut, since they don’t pay any taxes, but a government handout. It does make you wonder why a country that is socialistic through and through like Sweden is now turning away from Socialism, doesn’t it; especially if Socialism works so well. Here’s the dirty little secret: Socialism doesn’t work well; it never has; and it never will. Redistribution of wealth is a very, very bad idea; it is devastating for the economy.

Joe (the Famous) Plumber

For those who haven’t seen the clip of the Ohio plumber, Joe, talking to Mr. Obama or read the transcript, you owe it to yourself to do so. It’s a casual, impromptu conversation where Mr. Obama’s Socialism comes rushing to the forefront. Mr. Obama tells Joe the Plumber that he’s not trying to penalize him for hard work, he just wants to take care of those “behind” Joe. Those “behind” him? Who might they be? Mr. Obama knew nothing about Joe prior to that conversation. Maybe Joe worked his buns off and finally, through hard work, long hours, and personal responsibility just got to the place where he’s earning a decent living. Maybe Joe has a kid or two in college or a couple on the way to college. Joe and the wife are doing their best to be responsible, law-abiding citizens and Mr. Obama’s message is akin to Hillary’s when she said in a June 2004 speech, and I quote: “We’re going to take things away from you on behalf of the common good.” Thank you, comrade.

But it’s the end of Obama’s comments to Joe the Plumber that are the most telling. Here’s a snippet of that conversation: “It’s not that I want to punish your success. I just want to make sure that everybody who is behind you, that they’ve got a chance for success too.... I think when you spread the wealth around, it’s good for everybody.” (Emphasis added.) What did he just say to Joe and Mrs. Joe? There are others behind you; others who, for whatever reason, don’t make as much money as you do. He doesn’t consider education, incentive, personal responsibility, or any other factors. That doesn’t matter. These folks “behind” Joe and Mrs. Joe need a “chance” for success and Mr. Obama will solve the problem in the classic socialistic way: he’ll redistribute the wealth. Ironically, Socialism gives them no chance for success because the government bureaucracy, in a futile attempt to level the proverbial playing field, squelches all incentive to excel. Prices and salaries are fixed by the government. Obama laid his cards on the table when he said to Joe, “I think when you spread the wealth around, it’s good for everybody.” You? Who is the “you” in Mr. Obama’s statement? It’s Mr. Obama and his socialist government, of course. Did you hear what Mr. Obama told Joe? He clearly stated that he will implement a government that redistributes wealth and that is the classic definition of Socialism.

Mocking Joe

Do you remember that off the cuff remark Obama made in San Francisco when he thought all the cameras were no longer rolling and he spoke of some of the folks in PA as holding on to their guns and religion? Far too many have forgotten that statement. Now, with some of the polls showing Obama/Biden with a substantial lead (beware of polls, folks!), both men openly ridiculed the “Joe the Plumbers” of America yesterday and today. That’s right. They’re making fun of McCain for defending Joe the Plumber. Obama laughed and said, “He’s out there trying to defend a plumber!” Laughter: his and his audiences. What’s so funny about that? Wait a minute! I thought Obama and Biden were salt-of-the-earth, heartland America candidates. Shoot, Biden is so patriotic he still stops by Katy’s restaurant where he grew up for a slice of apple pie and vanilla ice cream, even though Katy’s closed twenty years ago. I’d call that commitment.

Now, both men are cracking jokes and making light of the middle class they claim to love and support. Is Joe the Plumber in Ohio the same as those rednecks in Pennsylvania who hold on to their guns and religion? Obama and Biden are mocking the middle-class Americans they say they’re looking out for. I hope all the plumbers, gun owners, and religious people in the States are listening.

Caviar Anyone?

All this nonsense about caring about the middle class was juxtaposed last evening in a glaring contrast. One film clip showed Gov. Sarah Palin stopping in at a Wal-Mart to pick up some diapers for her infant son. It was an amazing shot. Here is a woman running for Vice-President of the United States shopping at Wal-Mart. Unlike Joe Biden, she’s shopping at one that didn’t close twenty years ago. She’s just doing normal wife and mom things like buying diapers. These were not Calvin Klein or Armani diapers; no, they were just your garden-variety, run of the mill, global warming causing disposable diapers. Just like the rest of the Joe the Plumbers of the world, you watch Mrs. Palin swipe her card, pick up her diapers, and head back to the campaign trail. Nice touch.

Meanwhile, back at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City, Mrs. Obama ordered room service that included two lobsters, Iranian caviar (you glow in the dark after you eat it. They haven’t quite perfected the nuclear thing yet), and champagne. Now look, don’t get me wrong here. We all know that religious nuts, gun nuts, and Plumbers who make under $250,000.00/year eat this kind of stuff on a regular basis. Why we had some rednecks over to our place just last week. One brought a .50 caliber machine gun; one brought a case of Boone’s Farm Apple wine; and one brought a case of Iranian caviar. We fired the machine gun, drank all the wine, but left the Iranian caviar. Someone said, “Iranian caviar again? I’ve eaten so much of that stuff it’s runnin’ out of my ears! Belch!”

When you need to energize the economy and put an end to poverty, Iranian caviar is just what the doctor ordered. Not for everybody, mind you, but certainly for the Obamas. By the way, has anyone stopped to notice that since the days of Lyndon B. Johnson (the Great Society), Jimmy Carter (the Great Economic Meltdown), and through both administrations of Bill Clinton (the Great Scandal) that the true poverty rate in the United States has stayed pretty much the same? So what have the Democrats done to improve it or change it? Nothing. Year after year they promise change and improvement, but year after year it’s the same story. What has Nancy Pelosi and her ethical Democrat dominated House of Representatives done to alleviate poverty? Heck, what have they done period? Can you name one thing they’ve accomplished apart from plummeting approval ratings? Is this the Democrat formula for change and progress? In point of fact, much of what Obama is saying in this campaign is, with the necessary changes being made, the same old worn-out promises that Carter made and could not deliver. If Obama wins and does deliver on his promises, that will be the end of America as we know it. The economy will never survive this man’s irresponsible policies. Besides, you can never overturn universal health care. You can only tinker with it, tweak an irreparable system, and try to stop the bleeding of its disastrous results.

Therefore, the question before us today and for the next fourteen days is this: As an American, who understands the price that has been paid for our freedom and the price that’s being paid that still allows us to live in the greatest country in the world, do you want to take the road to serfdom (F. Hayek): Socialism, or do you want to continue to live in a land of opportunity and personal responsibility. When you go to the polls on November 4th, remember this: It really is the economy, stupid.



Blogger donsands said...

Excellent post. Thanks

Don the gutter-man. Seamless aluminum gutters, that is.

10:07 AM  
Blogger sister said...

Here we go again...

Don't worry, the irony of the fact that you were half a world away from the US during much (if not all) of the Carter administration was not lost. And, it appears, the effect of Republican political spin wasn't either.

4:32 PM  
Blogger Rattlesnake6 said...

This may come as a surprise, but Johnny Gutenberg had done his thing and I could actually READ and follow Mr. Carter's dismal, dismal liberalism. There were quite a few Americans around me and they could read too. There's no irony here except that a liberal like you makes silly accusations. Carter's debacle was not the result of Republican spin, but rather of his own ineptitude. Republican spin. That's funny! He was so incompetent people just laughed. It was Carter who started women in the service academies (Air Force Academy), lowering the physical standards so they could compete. It was also Carter who had the first conference on the "families" opening the door for homosexual "families." Yep, he was a price. Were you alive during the Carter years? That would be very funny if you weren't born, accused me of being in a land where there were no TV, magazines, or newspapers, and then had the unmitigated gall to accuse Republicans of spinning the whole thing.

6:16 PM  
Blogger sister said...

Heh... your defensiveness is amusing. I didn't make any accusations (we differ here), and didn't even consider you to be uninformed. I merely indicated that I appreciate the irony.

By "Republican spin" I mean the sound bites that you use in your post to demonstrate the differences between the Republican vice presidential candidate, and the Democrat candidates, ummm, wife.

By the way, my politics are probably more liberal than yours, but if you keep calling me a "liberal" I might get offended.

3:01 PM  
Blogger Rattlesnake6 said...

Probably? Yeah, probably. My defensiveness is as amusing of your dancing and spinning. Were you alive when Carter was Prez?

9:00 PM  
Blogger sister said...

Were you alive when Roosevelt was Prez? Right. Irrelevant.

(Yes, I was. I was capable of reading, too. Also, I saw Star Wars at the theatre, and had to adjust the rabbit ears to catch Star Trek)

6:48 AM  
Blogger Randy said...

guess what ron? a democracy means we can vote for whomever we please... including an inept middle aged mom... we can read whomever we want including a ranting old preacher guy... and we can certainly vote however we want - including voting for a guy who has been married only once and claims Jesus Christ as his Lord and Saviour... at least shup up once democracy allows someone to become the president in another fourteen days...

your so pathetic on economics... your party in the white house just nationalized the banks... good stinking grief... YOUR PARTY has become the largest socialist movement in our nations history...

just shut up once we decide who is the next president... maybe we believe socialism is better than insane pastors telling us how to live in america...

perhaps it still matters to some of us that our next president is a great role model as a husband and father... or not.. perhaps your Bible says divorce and large ammounts of money are better ways of following Jesus...

you've entirely lost it with this post... you're angry... an angry white old man... get some counseling

12:37 AM  
Blogger IceDawg said...

Hi Randy,

If you would humor me by answering one question honestly and then reconsider the tone and demands of your latest post:

Have you ever been critical of George W. Bush?

I cannot see into your heart, but from reading your posts, you seem more interested in getting a rise out of rattle than with presenting consistent opinions. At the very least I would like to make the observation that you do not consistently follow through with the claims you make for tolerance. Your tolerance for rattle seems to be paper thin anyway. I say that for your spiritual encouragement, not as one who is without fault himself (obviously). Your comments here are unkind, unloving and divisive. Don't set aside Scripture because of allegiance to Obama.

5:43 AM  
Blogger Rattlesnake6 said...

If my economics stink, what does that make yours--or ole Bri's? I cannot see the connection between what I know economically and what George Bush does.
Conveniently, you neglected what Chris Dodd, Barney Frank, and other Dems did to get us into the Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae debacle. You also neglected that Obama gave $800,000+ to ACORN. Oh yeah, you somehow missed how ACORN is being investigated big time for voter fraud registration. I suppose this is okay in the emergent play book.
You can vote however you please. Your accusations are ill-founded. I will, however, come back to some of my same points: Obama is in favor of partial-birth abortion. I would very much like for you to explain--from Scripture--how you can support a man like that while you rail at spending. I don't like Bush's spending at all. He's a tax-and-spend Democrat as far as that goes. I despise his stance on illegal immigration. I have been critical of Bush--quite critical at times because he is no more of a conservative than Schwarzenegger.
Having said that, if you want a good lesson in economics, you should vote for Obama. You'll learn just how expensive free health care is, how your taxes will skyrocket, how businesses will stop hiring, and how interest rates will rise.
You'll also stand by and watch our military come home in shame as he withdraws them from Iraq. Biden has already said Obama will be tested and without a teleprompter, he's lost.
You ought to be ashamed of the manner in which you spoke about Gov. Palin. She's a Christian woman who carried a Down syndrome child to term, knowing he was handicapped, and you make light of her. You are one disgusting human being.

7:32 AM  
Blogger jazzact13 said...

--perhaps it still matters to some of us that our next president is a great role model as a husband and father--

You mean the man who says he doesn't want his daughters punished with a baby?

--you've entirely lost it with this post... you're angry... an angry white old man--

Quite the racist little comment there.

--guess what ron? a democracy means we can vote for whomever we please... including an inept middle aged mom--

Oh, so I guess you've been a mayor and governor, correct, that you know how 'inept' she was or wasn't?

--your party in the white house just nationalized the banks... good stinking grief... YOUR PARTY has become the largest socialist movement in our nations history...--

Perhaps in this, you have some point. But most of us conservatives are much
less then happy about it.

--perhaps your Bible says divorce and large ammounts of money are better ways of following Jesus...--

I recall a Bible the said that an adulterer and murder (King David) was also call "a man after God's own heart". I recall a Bible the used a man who had a child out of marriage (Abraham) to start the lineage of the nation of Israel.

No, we don't excuse McCain's marital failings. They are one reason to be wary of him, among other reasons. But having a 'successful' marriage is hardly a qualification, when the rest of the little O's views are so blatantly wrong.

8:22 AM  
Blogger Rattlesnake6 said...

Yes, being an American means you can vote for whoever you want, but in your world, you can flaunt your First Amendment rights, while telling others to shut up. That's the liberal way.
BTW, when people ask my about my new book--if it's really accurate about how emergents treat those who disagree with them--I send them here and tell them to read your posts.
Thanks. Sales are going very well.

1:04 PM  

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