2010 will be a watershed election

The following appeared on American Thinker today. An expanded article dealing with the same topic will soon be posted at Monty Pelerin’s World.

February 27, 2010

2010 will be a watershed election

Monty Pelerin
Public concern for the sustainability of our fiscal condition and way of life is rife. Yet, the political class is unwilling or unable to respond. Inaction reflects in the public’s rising anger.

As Rasmussen reported:

Voter unhappiness with Congress has reached the highest level ever recorded by Rasmussen Reports as 71% now say the legislature is doing a poor job. … Only 10% of voters say Congress is doing a good or excellent job.

The dissatisfaction is non-partisan. Almost half of Democrats say that Congress is doing a poor job, up 17 points from January!

The purpose of elections is to express displeasure, remedy political malpractice and change policies/politicians. When elections no longer perform this function, they become perfunctory charades. The public has started to believe that elections don’t matter.

The people will change the composition of Congress in the 2010 election. But changing horses is less important than changing direction. What if the new Congress is incapable or unwilling to change direction? Then the 2010 election signals that elections no longer matter. At that point, we recognize that the people no longer control their government.

The tradition and history of this country cannot coexist very long with rule “of the government, by the government and for the government.” The American people are imbued with the spirit of freedom. It is in their genes. As described by Arthur Lee in 1769:

Liberty is the very idol of my soul, the parent of virtue, the nurse of heroes, the dispenser of general happiness….”

The Tea Party movement was an early indicator of an incipient restlessness. Their numbers, while growing, are a small fraction of the angry public. 2010 may be our last, best chance to regain control of the government within the existing system. Will 2010 be the last real election? If so, then what?

Does our citizenry still have the love of freedom that our forefathers did? Are they willing to make the same sacrifices? If there is not a reversal of direction after the next election, the answers to these questions will be learned in the next few years.

Monty Pelerin @ www.economicnoise.com will be posting a longer version of this article on his website in the next day or so.

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  7. Regardless of the reasons, I think there are three items which do not bode well for commercial real estate prices in the next few years. First and perhaps most overlooked, investment or income producing properties, during the boom years, where purchased more for appreciation, rather than “income”. In other words, many deals were justified by investors who were willing to forego a rate of return (income), for future price appreciation. But as its name suggests, this is not what “income producing property” is all about. If it doesn’t give you an income stream in good times, it sure won’t be able to in bad ones. Only a “flipper” can make money on appreciation, and the trick is to know when to get in and when to get out. Second, the credit crisis has reduced the chances of obtaining loans, and also the leverage previously afforded owners/purchasers. Less money means less deals, and more cash out of pocket. This can only lead to lower prices. Third, we are for now in a “new” economy (although Americans often prove to be driven by fads and can be short sighted), where we will consume less, which should mean less need for commercial space. If there is one truth that history makes clear over and over again, it’s that most sectors of the economy will move in conjunction with one another, not in spite of one another. No doubt prices are tied to supply and demand issues, but too much of a swing invites change. So when prices double and triple in one sector while the rest of the economy isn’t going in that direction, chances are some force will snap that imbalance back into its proper place in the overall economy. And that change can be from social, economic, and/or political means.

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  9. Forwarded much of this article to about 50 friends (all or virtually all have read ‘Anatomy of the State’ by Murray Rothbard at least once). Like me they are anxious to see this when/if you do post a longer version. Harry

    1. I am working on this piece. More difficult that I originally thought, but it will be forthcoming. As an aside, my piece on American Thinker was more controversial, but they insisted on toning it down. Stay tuned.

  10. When the elistist leaders of our government become so corrupt that they consider it a badge of honor to mock and dismiss the public’s opinion, the day of reckoning can’t be far behind. Hopefully it will be at the ballot box, but at this juncture there are no guarntees. Look forward to your next installment on this subject.

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