In my travels and visits with farmers and agribusiness people, I’ve never heard so much uncertainty about the future, nor the outright anger over what brought about this recession. And just about everybody is upset with Uncle Sam’s forced entry into the ownership and control of banks.
But few really understand why this all came about. And we must understand it if we’re ever to fix it.
America’s basic economic premise is to let its people and businesses operate without government intervention, and “things will straighten themselves out”. Simplistically put, that’s what democracy and capitalism is all about. Former President George Bush truly believed that.
That would have been okay – if America and its financial institutions were morally accountable to a higher standard than “what works for me.” This attitude, called “moral relativism” is all too prevalent today – and growing. But we must call it what it really is – greed, arrogance and failure to be accountable.
Why do corporate officials take huge bonuses and benefits while their companies flounder in red ink? Why did financial institutions make bad loans, knowing that Uncle Sam would bail them out? Why haven’t more of them been fired? Why aren’t more wearing prison stripes?
Our founding fathers demonstrated a wisdom and insight that’s extremely hard to find today. Consider a few warning quotes:
- “Mankind, when left to themselves, are unfit for their own government.” – George Washington, first president of the United States.
- “Because power corrupts, society's demands for moral authority and character increase as the importance of the position increases.” – John Adams, second president of the United States
- “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” – John Adams
- “[Government] can only end in Despotism as other forms have done before it, when the people shall become so corrupted as to need despotic government, being incapable of any other.” – Ben Franklin
This is why America is making a significant shift toward socialism. That makes it all the more critical to elect national leaders who are not “what works for me” politicians. Any suggestions?
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