We're now one step closer to America's coming civil war.....
But soap opera dramatics about fiscal "cliffs" and sequestration shouldn’t deflect from where President Obama is really taking this country. Consider this story from the Wall Street Journal a few days before Christmas:
“Thousands of people in several Argentine cities ransacked supermarkets for a second day in the latest challenge to President Chistina Kirchner, who is struggling to revive a weak economy...In the central city Rosario, two people were killed during the incidents and 137 people arrested.
Some have said my warnings about a coming civil war between makers and takers are exaggerated. It’s true that Argentina’s politicians have been waging class warfare since Juan and Eva Peron–and they aren’t fazed when it turns bloody. Obama and the Democrats are relative newcomers to the game. But Argentina reveals who really suffers when those who create a nation’s wealth get mugged by those who spend it–as just happened this week in Washington.
It’s the poor and the middle class, the very ones big government says it’s trying to protect.
Experience teaches that those who believe in free markets are right. The November election and the budget deal, however, show that the other side is winning, and winning big.
Since 1970, America’s public sector has exploded as a percentage of GDP, rising to almost 25% last year. While the national unemployment rate hovers at the 8% mark, government worker unemployment rate is a cozy 3.8%. Sixteen percent of America’s workforce now work for government. By the time the Obama administration ends, we won’t be that far away from Argentina’s 21 percent.
Yet as an economic and social enterprise, government creates nothing.
When the economy tanks and the government checks have to shrink, their only alternative is to take to the streets. That’s what happening in Argentina, and in Greece; and that’s where the growth of government is taking us here, as this current budget deal increases handouts–and more and more Americans are finding that an unemployment or Social Security disability check is their only life line.
Washington’s Republicans and Democrats alike have become the toll collectors on the road to serfdom–and the road to Rosario.
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Historian Arthur Herman is the author of the just released "Freedom's Forge: How American Business Produced Victory in World War II" (Random House May 2012) and the Pulitzer Prize finalist book "Gandhi and Churchill: The Epic Rivalry That Destroyed an Empire and Forged Our Age.
•Lecturer, Smithsonian's Campus on the Mall, 1990–present
•Associate Professor of History, George Mason University, 1990–2000
•Visiting Assistant Professor of History, Georgetown University, 1991–92
•Coordinator, Western Heritage Program, Smithsonian’s Campus on the Mall, 1995–2004
Ph.D., history, Johns Hopkins University
M.A., history, Johns Hopkins University
B.A., history, minor in classics, University of Minnesota