We’re All Merrily Skipping Down The Road To Serfdom

For those who want to know what our future will look like, here’s a brief preview. F.A. Hayek’s brilliant The Road to Serfdom in a short illustrated form.

I’ve never been more bleak about the future of this country. The road to serfdom isn’t obvious. Nobody intentionally elects a dictator for the purpose of electing a dictator. Instead they pour the ill-conceived hopes and dreams into a Leader who promises them the world so long as they give him the power to create it.

Now, I don’t necessarily think that Barack Obama is a dictator. But the point is that he doesn’t have to be. He’s just creating the ideal conditions for one. What truly saddens me, what truly sickens me, is if that Obama passed the “Fairness Doctrine” to silence his critics, created “civilian work corps” to put an army of young men and women into his service, and arrested business owners, nearly half of the county would go along. Nearly half are so filled with irrational love for Obama that they’d let him become a Caesar. It isn’t about issues, it isn’t about the country, it’s about some gauzy notion of “hope.”

To hell with “hope.”

As Charles Murray says, everything Obama is promising has already been tried and failed. There’s nothing new. This isn’t “change we can believe in” this is “I can say whatever the hell I want and you simpletons will slurp it up.” It’s the wish list of every statist in the last 40 years, and it represents a radical and dangerous turn away from tested principles and towards abject statism.

Universal healthcare? It means the government will have to ration what we get. That’s the only way such a system can possibly work. Even worse, it doesn’t scale up at all. Which means America’s larger population will make the endemic and innate problem with universal healthcare worse than in a smaller country like Sweden or even Canada. Which means that we had better get used to dying in lines, and forget risky or experimental treatments.

Universal college education? For most people, a four-year college degree is a waste of time and money. I believe in a liberal arts education, but I’m not so arrogant as to say that it’s right for everyone. But now Obama will make the value of that degree effectively zero—and a four-year college degree is already worth nowhere near what people pay for it. My suspicion is that the real reason for this is ideological: make everyone go through the like-minded public university system and you’ll have an ideologically “pure” citizenry. Even if that’s not the plan, that will be the effect. A better solution would be to make our existing system actually work, but that doesn’t concentrate any political power into the President’s hands.

A cap-and-trade system for carbon emissions? It’s already been tried and failed. It’s a way of creating a stealth tax increase on energy consumption. A more honest approach would be to just slap a tax on energy. But Obama doesn’t want to be honest, he wants to play to the mob. That cap-and-trade programs hurt the Third World doesn’t seem to matter.

I don’t like to ascribe the worst motives for people, but even so President Obama is taking this country farther down the Road to Serfdom than it even has been. It may take decades for America to recover from what he is doing. He is pouring sugar into the engine of American prosperity, and we will suffer for it.

I love this country. I want this country to succeed, regardless of who is the occupant of the Oval Office or what party is in power. But the end result of what Obama wants will be a United States that is following the disastrous path of statism. At best America will suffer a “Lost Decade” like Japan.

At worst? America takes the road to serfdom to its inevitable conclusion.

I wish this were merely sour political grapes. But the future of this country truly is in deep peril. The way to the future is through individualism, hard work, limited government, thrift, ingenuity, and political pluralism. Today, we have a President who wants a cradle-to-the-grave welfare state and has the audacity to not only hope for one, but to say it in no uncertain terms.

I fear that if we continue down this road, the future will belong to India and China, while this nation lives out its twilight years in increasing obsolescence.