Saturday, July 23, 2005

"Tax-Eaters and Taxpayers" - Steven Malanga

This new book by a fellow at the Manhattan Institute has got to be one of the best I've seen in recent weeks. He has put his finger on the economic syndrome of the age. He calls it (and his book) The New New Left, consisting mainly of "tax-eaters" (as contrasted to taxpayers) and the politicians who pander to them.

The New New Left.

See his own write-up of the thesis here and see an interview here.

I'm not going to waste your time giving you a synopsis of it; just go and see for yourself. It's worth your time, and neither article is too long. Let me just say that it has to do with federally encouraged bureaucracies and ... the u-n-i-o-n-s.

A similar situation has arisen in the countries of Europe, who are our predecessors in this Odyssey towards socialist non-perfection. Germany is going through the throws of a political and economic re-evaluation of their future. Some are predicting that Germany will veer towards the free market; some think that the progressive left will win, albeit by a small margin (the usual 51 to 49); and still a third minority of the soothsayers think that Germany may replay its past as the split between the two major parties hands power to the third column, which is the most lethal: a Nazi-like coalition between the far left and the far right, exactly like in the 1930s.

See my article here to see the same story unfolding in France. During the last elections, both left and right were stunned to see that a third party called the "Front National" had moved into second place. This party is increasingly popular given its xenophobic distrust of immigrants (you thought all French were chauvinists; wait until you meet one of these) and its grandstanding against the corruption on the present-day political scene.

The good news is that once a country hits bottom, things can change for the better. The example of Ireland comes to mind. About 20 years ago, you couldn't think of that country without imagining blood in the streets and poverty. Today, Ireland is thriving, thanks to a newly elected free-market-oriented government.

Let's hope America's journey into left field will be a short one, and that we don't have to suffer bloodshed before we wake up.

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