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  Road to the Middle Class
Friday October 31, 2014 
by Christopher Chantrill Follow chrischantrill on Twitter

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 BLOG:

Three Big Things We Must Do

LET'S face it: the Democrats are tapped out. Back in 2008 they thought they were going to roar to a generational dynasty. Their Obamacare would give everyone affordable health care; their Keynesian stimulus would bring the economy back, and their green energy program would heal the world.

In fact Obamacare has been a experimental verification of Hayek and Buchanan: big government bureaucrats cannot organize the economy. Stimulus has been yet another proof that Keynes is all wet. And the death of fossil fuel has been greatly exaggerated. And has for wind and solar, words fail me.

That's why Democrats are reduced to beating their base voters to the polls with wars on women and returns to Jim Crow. And I thought the cowskin whip went out with slavery.

It's not just the big things where liberal are wrong; it's the little things too, as Kate Bachelder writes in the Wall Street Journal, listing "The Top 10 Liberal Superstitions."

  1. More money helps education
  2. Government spending stimulates the economy
  3. GOP candidates have more money than Dems
  4. Raising minimum wage helps the poor
  5. Global warming causes violent weather
  6. GM food is dangerous
  7. Voter ID laws are racist
  8. Obamacare is gaining popularity
  9. Keystone XL pipeline will cause oil spills
  10. Women are paid 77 cents on the dollar
But never mind all that. What should Republicans do if they get into power in 2014 and 2016? What three big things? Here's my agenda.

Get out of QE and ZIRP. That's the Fed's "quantitative easing" and its "zero interest rate policy." I don't know exactly how we are going to do this without another recession, but it is essential to get back to a "normal" economy. That means normal interest rates, declining debt as percent of GDP, and an end to the subsidy for home mortgages with Fannie and Freddie.

Fix the economy. I'd say that a tax reform package to balance rate cuts with tax loophole elimination would be a start. Then a redo of the hyper-regulation in Sarbanes-Oxley and Dodd-Frank. Then an end to green energy subsidies and frack, baby, frack.

Redo Obamacare. I'd say the thing to do is to turn the subsidies on the Obamacare exchanges into "mini-med" plans that subsidize routine health care for the working poor. Since the working poor don't have assets they don't need catastrophic insurance coverage, because they can just declare bankruptcy. For the rest of us, just clear out all the mad mandates and regulations and let us buy the insurance coverage that makes sense. For a real stretch, slowly remove the tax deductibility of corporate health plans so that corporations push health care onto their employees who then have an interest in getting the best bang for the buck.

I'm in the middle of reading Charles Murray's In Our Hands: A Plan to Replace the Welfare State. His idea is to replace all social programs, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, welfare, student loans, housing subsidies (but not K-12 education) with a simple $10,000 per year grant paid to each American over 21 for as long as they live. Of this, $3,000 would be a lifelong health insurance plan. He thinks it would encourage the poor to work (because they wouldn't be facing their current 50% plus marginal tax rate) and also encourage the poor to marry (because there wouldn't be an advantage to single-motherhood). It's pretty intriguing, but it's clearly a "nuclear option" that looks like pie in the sky. At least for now. Here's The Atlantic saying it won't work 'cos the numbers don't add up.

Never mind about the nuclear option. What we can do is make a start: on the Fed, on growth and energy, and Obamacare. Let's do it.


perm | comment | Follow chrischantrill on Twitter | 10/31/14 10:45 am ET


How Does Hume Separate Sense Impressions and Hallucinations?

BACK in 1839, philosopher David Hume couldn't hold back any longer, so he sallied forth, at the grand old age of eighteen, to write his Treatise of Human Nature. Why not? The Scots are notoriously dour and flinty, and certainly exposed at a young age to the reality of a long winter, so a young lad raised on haggis and mutton ought to have a clear and unclouded mind uninflamed by the fripperies ...

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perm | comment | Follow chrischantrill on Twitter | 10/30/14 5:25 pm ET


The "Election About Nothing"

THE chaps at the Weekly Standard have caught the Democratic operatives with bylines up to their old tricks. They've all decided, all on their little lonesomes, that the 2014 midterms are "the election about nothing." Stephen Hayes: The Washington Post may have been first in declaring the coming midterms “kind of—and apologies to Seinfeld here—an election about nothing.” But the Daily Beast ...

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perm | comment | Follow chrischantrill on Twitter | 10/30/14 12:27 pm ET


Big Government and Big Business: What They Leave Out

IN the middle of the 19th century, when sensitive souls first noticed the industrial revolution, they all agreed that the solution to the Moloch of bourgeois capitalism was more government. And they had a point, for it looked as though the capitalists would rule the world. It took another 50 years to demonstrate that capitalists weren't much interested in power. After building their businesses,...

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perm | comment | Follow chrischantrill on Twitter | 10/29/14 1:02 pm ET


|  October blogs  |  September blogs  |

 DOWNLOAD

Download latest e-book draft here.

 MANIFESTO

A New Manifesto
A spectre is haunting the liberal elite—the spectre of conservatism.

 DRAFT CHAPTERS

The Crisis of the Administrative State
It wasn’t supposed to be like this.

Government and the Technology of Power
If you scratch a social reformer, you will likely discover a plan for more government.

Business, Slavery, and Trust
Business is all about trust and relationship.

Humanity's Big Problem: Freebooters and Freeloaders
The modern welfare state encourages freeloaders.

The Bonds of Faith
No society known to anthropology or history lacked religion.

A Critique of Social Mechanics
The problem with human society reduced to system.

The Paradox of Individualism
Is individualism the gospel of selfishness or something else?

From Multitude to Civil Society
The larger the government, the smaller the society.

The Answer is Civil Society
In between the separated powers.

The Greater Separation of Powers
If you want to limit power then you must limit power.

Conservatism Three by Three
Conservatism, political, economics, and cultural.

The Culture of Involvement
Imagining lives without the welfare state

The Poor Without the Welfare State
Can the poor thrive without the welfare state?

The Middle Class Without The Welfare State
How would the middle class live without all those middle-class entitlements?

From Freeloaders to Free Givers
The path to the future lies through moral movements.

The Real Meaning of Society
Broadening the horizon of cooperation in the “last best hope of man on earth.”

conservative manifesto

Opeds


 AAM BOOKS


AAM Book of the Day

Dalrymple, Theodore, Life at the Bottom,


AAM Books on Education

Andrew Coulson, Market Education
How universal literacy was achieved before government education

Carl Kaestle, Pillars of the Republic
How we got our education system

James Tooley, Reclaiming Education
How only a market in education will provide opportunity for the poor

James Tooley, The Miseducation of Women
How the feminists wrecked education for boys and for girls

E.G. West, Education and the State
How education was doing fine before the government muscled in


AAM Books on Law

Hernando De Soto, The Mystery of Capital
How ordinary people in the United States wrote the law during the 19th century

F. A. Hayek, Law Legislation and Liberty, Vol 1
How to build a society based upon law

Henry Maine, Ancient Law
How the movement of progressive peoples is from status to contract

John Zane, The Story of Law
How law developed from early times down to the present


AAM Books on Mutual Aid

James Bartholomew, The Welfare State We're In
How the welfare state makes crime, education, families, and health care worse.

David Beito, From Mutual Aid to the Welfare State
How ordinary people built a sturdy social safety net in the 19th century

David Green, Before Beveridge: Welfare Before the Welfare State
How ordinary people built themselves a sturdy safety net before the welfare state

Theda Skocpol, Diminished Democracy
How the US used to thrive under membership associations and could do again

David Stevenson, The Origins of Freemasonry
How modern freemasonry got started in Scotland


AAM Books on Religion

David Aikman, Jesus in Beijing
How Christianity is booming in China

Finke & Stark, The Churching of America, 1776-1990
How the United States grew into a religious nation

Robert William Fogel, The Fourth Great Awakening and the Future of Egalitarianism
How progressives must act fast if they want to save the welfare state

David Martin, Pentecostalism: The World Their Parish
How Pentecostalism is spreading across the world


 READINGS

The highly sophisticated hacking of Sharyl Attkisson's computers | Fox News
Sharyl Attkisson on agenda-driven journalism.

The Green Blob Unveiled
How UK Energy Policy is Bought With American Billionaire Foundation Cash: Packard, Duke, Joyce, Hewlett foundations etc.

Liberals and Carter and Obama
Thomas "What's the Matter with Kansas" Frank compares the Carter and the Obama effects, and liberal attraction for "unpoliticians"

How the Supreme Court Created the Student Loan Bubble
it forced corporations to ditch aptitude testing because racism.

5 Ways To Get the Deficit Under Control
hey, why not fix Medicare, Social Security and welfare!

> archive

 CCWUD PROJECT

cruel . corrupt . wasteful
unjust . deluded


 


 THE BOOK

After a year of President Obama most Americans understand that the nation is on the wrong track. But how do we find the right track? Americans knew thirty years ago that liberalism was a busted flush. Yet Reaganism and Bushism seemed to be less than the best answer.

But where can we turn? Where are the thinkers and activists of the old days? Where do we find the best ideas? And how do we persuade our present ruling class to loosen its grip on power so that we can move the locomotive of state back onto the right track?

With all of our problems it seems like the worst of times.

In fact, this is the best of times. Under the radar a generation of great thinkers have been figuring out what went wrong and conjuring up visions of a better future. This book, "An American Manifesto: Life After Liberalism" is an introduction to their ideas, and to the great future that awaits an America willing to respond to their call.

Although this book is addressed to all Americans, conservative, moderate, and liberal, and looks to a nation that transcends our present partisan divide, I must tell you that liberals will have the most difficulty with the book. The reason is simple. I am asking liberals to give up a lot of the power they have amassed in the last century. But we are all Americans, and we must all give up something for the sake of the greater good.

 THE BLOG

I am Christopher Chantrill and I am writing this book in full view. I'll be blogging on the process and the ideas, and I'll be asking you, dear readers, to help. Read the blog. Read the articles as they come out on American Thinker and ponder over the draft chapters here on this site.

Then send me your reactions, your thoughts, and your comments. You will help more than you know.

 TAGS


What Liberals Think About Conservatives

[W]hen I asked a liberal longtime editor I know with a mainstream [publishing] house for a candid, shorthand version of the assumptions she and her colleagues make about conservatives, she didn't hesitate. “Racist, sexist, homophobic, anti-choice fascists,” she offered, smiling but meaning it.
Harry Stein, I Can't Believe I'm Sitting Next to a Republican


US Life in 1842

Families helped each other putting up homes and barns. Together, they built churches, schools, and common civic buildings. They collaborated to build roads and bridges. They took pride in being free persons, independent, and self-reliant; but the texture of their lives was cooperative and fraternal.
Michael Novak, The Spirit of Democratic Capitalism


Taking Responsibility

[To make] of each individual member of the army a soldier who, in character, capability, and knowledge, is self-reliant, self-confident, dedicated, and joyful in taking responsibility [verantwortungsfreudig] as a man and a soldier. — Gen. Hans von Seeckt
MacGregor Knox, Williamson Murray, ed., The dynamics of military revolution, 1300-2050


Society and State

For [the left] there is only the state and the individual, nothing in between. No family to rely on, no friend to depend on, no community to call on. No neighbourhood to grow in, no faith to share in, no charities to work in. No-one but the Minister, nowhere but Whitehall, no such thing as society - just them, and their laws, and their rules, and their arrogance.
David Cameron, Conference Speech 2008


Socialism equals Animism

Imagining that all order is the result of design, socialists conclude that order must be improvable by better design of some superior mind.
F.A. Hayek, The Fatal Conceit


Sacrifice

[Every] sacrifice is an act of impurity that pays for a prior act of greater impurity... without its participants having to suffer the full consequences incurred by its predecessor. The punishment is commuted in a process that strangely combines and finesses the deep contradiction between justice and mercy.
Frederick Turner, Beauty: The Value of Values


Responsible Self

[The Axial Age] highlights the conception of a responsible self... [that] promise[s] man for the first time that he can understand the fundamental structure of reality and through salvation participate actively in it.
Robert N Bellah, "Religious Evolution", American Sociological Review, Vol. 29, No. 3.


 

©2014 Christopher Chantrill

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