The cries of the Left in this country are an indication of how far we’ve come in realizing an ignoble achievement: the creation of a national government. Our Constitution was written to avoid the horrors of a national government. Look no further than the welfare state liberalism has created in the U.S.
Dr. Walter E. Williams points out the following:
"… our nation went from 1787 to 1979 and during that interval produced some of the world's most highly educated people without a Department of Education. Since the department's creation, American primary and secondary education has become a joke among industrialized nations."
Since the creation of the Department of Education, our public schools have become government-sponsored centers of mediocrity. Dr. Williams’ comment about American education having become a joke among industrialized nations is not limited to the policy makers and politicians of those nations. The average person on the street wonders what has happened to American education.
During a trip to Europe in late summer 2009, I was engaged in discussions regarding that very fact. I was not speaking with high-level government types either. The people with whom I spoke were: in Croatia, a bartender, a waiter, a hotel clerk, and a sales lady. In Spain, it was a musician, his assistant, two Russian women, and a couple of flamenco dancers. These weren’t famous people (okay, the musician was pretty well-known in that region of Spain) rather, they were average, everyday working people.
In Spain, the admiration people held for the U.S. was quite palpable. They seemed perplexed when I mentioned that our educational progress seemed to decline after the creation of the Department of Education. One finally spoke up and asked, "Then, why don’t you just get rid of it?" Trying to explain the intricacies of American political machinations in a language I had not used in over 20 years was, well, trying. Nevertheless, we generally agreed that the anesthesia of political office was the major culprit in the vast majority of problems in both countries.
Dr. Williams continues:
"After HUD was created in 1965, many of our formerly great cities are in decline. No one is saying that HUD is responsible for the decline, but neither was HUD responsible for their rise."
That raises the question: Why does HUD exist?The decline of our cities continues. No longer meccas of opportunity, too many have taxed away the very businesses they proclaim to welcome. Often, the reasons for increased taxation fall into areas such as park beautification, bike trails, public artwork, public transportation, and other projects deemed to increase the "quality of life." It makes liberals "feel good" to have such things in the neighborhood.
The Great Society programs Johnson started in the 1960’s were touted as helping the 'disadvantaged' in America improve their socioeconomic status. Since the implementation of the Great Society programs, the United States has experienced the following:
- Decreased high school graduation rates
- Increased teen pregnancy rates
- Increased abortion rates
- Breakdown in family structure
Each of these is a result of the liberal, good-idea fairies. Nothing here indicates improvement. To date, no policy implemented by liberals has had a lasting positive effect on the population at which it was aimed, nor has any achieved the results promised. One would think they’d see the light and quit trying, but they won’t. Instead, they blame "unintended consequences" (there is no such thing) on their failures. But, it makes them feel good to enact a piece of legislation that they "intend" to help a particular segment of the population.
Dr. Thomas Sowell identifies a very distinct pattern of failure* in his book, The Vision of the Anointed**:
Stage 1. The "Crisis." This is where a "problem" is identified, whose negative aspects the anointed propose to eliminate. Such a situation is routinely characterized as a "crisis," even though all human situations have negative aspects ... Sometimes the situation described as a "crisis" has in fact already been getting better for years."
Stage 2. The "Solution." The anointed advocate policies designed to "lead to beneficial result A. Critics say that these policies will lead to detrimental reault Z. The anointed dismiss these claims as absurd and "simplistic," if not dishonest."
Stage 3. The Result. Dr. Sowell writes that the "policies are instituted and lead to detrimental result Z."
Stage 4. The Response. "Those who attribute detrimental result Z to the policies instituted are dismissed as "simplistic" for ignoring the "complexities" involved, as "many factors" went into determining the outcome."
We often hear, in response to the detrimental results of failed policy, that things "would have been worse" had these 'great' programs not been implemented. After over 40 years of liberal social policy experimentation, the results have been disastrous. The Liberal Good-Idea Fairies cause more damage than would have happened had they done nothing.
To fix the damage, their solution is to come up with another "good idea." Such is the perpetual liberal policy machine. The best we can say of liberal policies is they’ve resulted in more people becoming dependent on the so-called 'generosity' of the federal government. I don’t remember ever hearing that as an intended consequence. One Black American would like liberals to identify the constitutional basis for any of their policies, all of which have set us back as a nation.-----------------------------------------------
* Dr. Sowell simply refers to the policies of the anointed. His book examines, as its sub-title states, the ideas of the elite intelligentsia as a basis for social policy. It is not him, but I, who attributes failed social policy to Liberals. Don’t get us confused (And I highly recommend this book!).
** Sowell, Thomas (1995). The Vision of the Anointed: Self-Congratulation As a Basis for Social Policy. New York, NY: Basic Books.