Who is John Galt?
Yesterday America endured the fifth non-Black Friday in a row. The day before we gave thanks for what we have left after five years of failed liberal Democrat Obamanomics. Today we take a break with college football rivalry weekend before facing tomorrow and at least three years of near certainty that President Barack Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid would rather all American citizens and illegal aliens occupying the Lower Forty-Eight be dependent on federal welfare than repeal Obamacare or cut taxes and regulations on job creating businesses large and small.
Yes, there is hope that enough Americans have endured enough pain and suffering from the 5-year long jobs depression, higher energy prices, record chicken and other food prices and an anemic “recovery” unworthy of the name; that they will deny the Democrats a senate majority after the 2014 election and even elect a Republican as President in 2016.
But given the near even split between Americans with such radically different economic goals and policy preferences, are we now in an era of the kind of “permanent uncertainty” upon which Ayn Rand’s seminal novel Atlas Shrugged was based? I speak of the downright overturning of the rule of law by a Chief Executive not content to wield only the powers granted him under Article II of the U.S. Constitution, even though it was via that conventional route taken, at least on his part, that gave us the veritable liberal-cornucopia-dream of the Stimulus, Dodd-Frank and Obamacare. Yes, Senate Democrats changed the rules after Scott Brown won the “Kennedy” seat in a special election, but at least the founding document does allow each body of Congress to make its own rules.
President Obama, on the other hand, defied an Article III federal court in imposing deep water-oil drilling moratoriums after the BP oil spill and has made usurpation of the power to make laws under Article II his modus operandi. What parts of the liberal vision to fundamentally transform America that can’t be enacted according to the rule of law, will be imposed via executive fiat whether it be Dreamy Acts of amnesty for yutes, ending reformed-welfare work requirements or delays and exemptions under Obamacare. Hence, the risk for entrepreneurs to start new businesses or expand existing ones is made even greater than usual and, judging by GDP growth under 2% for the past eight quarters, in most cases prohibitively so.
Of course, besides the problem of the near death of the rule of law and uncertainty in markets; there is also the problem of the certainty that liberal Democrats in power bring to bear on liberty-driven pursuits of happiness.
When the Democrats won back both houses of Congress after the 2006 election, their first pronouncements were that not only would there be no more tax cuts under President George W. Bush, but that taxes would be raised on the “rich” and that climate change would rule economic policy. So that even before the housing bust and Barack Hussein Obama first took the presidential oath of office, the groundwork for recession and high energy prices had been lain by liberal Democrats.
Businesses since then have had to wait even longer than the last week of the eleventh month to break even for fiscal years, if they ever do. But even if We the People were to elect conservatives to all branches of government between now and Inauguration Day, 2017, there may, for the indefinite future still linger in the minds of the productive the fear that markets made relatively free by conservatives, could be again subject to paternalistic big government meddlers less than two years hence.
It took the Pilgrims, other colonists, and post-revolutionary Americans much time and suffering to build the exceptional American City on the Hill. It will take those of us willing to rebuild it a long time to re-institute the kind of certainty needed for robust long-term economic investments and growth. And that will require more than just electoral victories in 2012 and 2016 and beyond. It will also require that conservatives occupy more positions in cultural centers of influence in academia, Hollywood and the press.
In our world, the only sufficient answer to the ubiquitous question posed in Atlas Shrugged is: We the People.
“One man with courage makes a majority.” – Andrew Jackson