Wednesday, January 14, 2015

When Reagan's Approval Hit 35% and the Left Was Right

Robert Samuelson: Volcker, Reagan and history - The Washington Post:

I remember these times very well -- Reagan was the first Republican I had voted for. I listened to A LOT of NPR in those days since I drove more, and their positions on Reagan were quite simple -- idiot, warmonger, destroyer of the economy, etc. Of course their positions on America were pretty much as they are now -- too wealthy, too much consuming, too much income inequality, too much military, too many stupid red state people that don't know what is good for them, too much religion, best years behind it, etc.

At that point in my life I had suspicions that NPR might be right, but being in your early 20's is a time when it is hard to look at the future as a "deserved decline" to everyone living in European sized condo flats, no consumer type toys (boats, snowmobiles, etc), dinky little cars, no real reason to look to "advance" in your career since any increase would just go to tax, etc..

But in '82, it looked like NPR was right and "Reaganomics" was a huge disaster.
Reagan rejected this futile path. As the gruesome social costs of Volcker’s policies mounted — the monthly unemployment rate would ultimately rise to a post-World War II high of 10.8 percent. Reagan’s approval ratings plunged. In May 1981, they were at 68 percent; by January 1983, 35 percent. 
Still, he supported the Fed. “I have met with Chairman Volcker several times during the past year,” he said in early 1982. “I have confidence in the announced policies of the Federal Reserve.”
I can remember listening to NPR, seeing the evening news, and reading "Time" magazine thinking that I was learning an important lesson -- the High School and College instructors really had been right!  In the "modern world", massive government was the ONLY way -- the buying a home and having it go up in value, or investing in the stock market era was over. The best years of a more economically free and vibrant US economy were behind us -- time to turn down the thermostats, shut off the Christmas lights, and learn the life of austerity.

The US stock market had been essentially flat from '62 - '82. The home I would finally purchase at 12.5% interest in '83 was built in '60 and was still "current" in '82, other than the electric heat, which meant I lived in the basement and very cold to save money. The fact that in the '60s the "experts" were so certain that electricity was going to be "too cheap to meter" was a little reminder that the "experts" always quoted by NPR were not ALWAYS correct as I shivered under my blanket reading "Time" in the basement.

But NPR, Time, NBC, ABC, NY Times, etc could not ALL be wrong, could they? It was obvious the climate was cooling at the time, we had harder and harder winters pretty much every year. We CERTAINLY were out of oil -- of that there was ZERO doubt, only a complete idiot would think otherwise, and hunger + "the population bomb" were the issues that would CERTAINLY be gigantic issues the next decade. ("The Population Bomb" had been published in '68, and was known by anyone with any education).

Then of course, the USSR was on the march ... Nicaragua, Afghanistan, Africa -- the inevitability of communism was well, "inevitable". NPR regularly covered with glowing and gushing terms the marvelous healthcare in the USSR and Cuba, the superb free day care for kids, and the complete equality of income. Why should the US even have ANY defense budget agains the inevitable?  The inevitable that was in fact better!

Reagan was not only a fool -- the disaster of "Reaganomics" had been proved by '82, but he was DANGEROUS. To claim that the US would consign the mighty USSR, the inevitable winner of the cold war to "the ash heap of history" was simply insane. The ONLY way that would happen is by a nuclear war that would destroy the planet -- winter was a big theme in those days, so "nuclear winter" fit right into the cold and getting colder ambiance of the time.

But as we know now, the "certainty" that all the experts, media and academia were completely certain of was 100% false. The "stupid actor from California" was WAY smarter than all the PHDs, pundits, economists and columnists. By '84, it would indeed be "Morning in America", and not even the MSM could fight the reality. Reagan would be re-elected by a landslide.

I learned TWO giant lessons:

1). The obvious -- the "experts" are always certain and frequently wrong. If you just have your eyes open that will be obvious MANY times in the course of a lifetime.

But maybe more importantly!

2). The objective of TP is POWER -- not success for the nation, better conditions for the people, or even the continued existence of the US in anything like the state it was founded to be. The expectation that that "the experts will learn", or even that the people that support the "Standard Media Narrative of the Day" will learn is completely false. They will not! "Learning" has never been on their radar except in the case of better ways to gain POWER!

TP (The Party-D) and their supporters in the MSM  learned precisely NOTHING about communism, oil, climate, economics or anything else from the '80s, '90s, and the continued growth of the US up to 2008. Because all of those things that I thought were important -- jobs, homes, economic growth, etc. were not even on their objective list!

They learned nothing because their desire is for POWER and that means MORE GOVERNMENT! No matter who that hurts, how much freedom is destroyed, no matter if people go hungry,  no matter if thousands of young black men kill each other every year, no matter if the nation is sold off in pieces to the Chinese or whomever,  or simply ceases to exist as an entity as it sinks under a horde of illegal immigrants and debt.

For TP, POWER is the ONE singular driving lust that trumps all else, and "facts" relative to things like strong families, individual rights, economic growth, opportunity, innovation, a meaningful life, etc for the masses,  will NEVER mean anything.

The masses living in government mandated cinder block high rises riding public transportation, getting public healthcare with no alternatives, watching government run media and entertainment -- maybe even "enjoying" a 5th of vodka or even few joints as "recreation", while the "deserving" TP elite have their "Dachas" in the Hamptons, Palm Springs, Upper East Side, etc and live the deserved life that elite "servants of the people" ought.

That is the "utopia" that TP sees, and no mere "facts" are ever going to change their minds!

'via Blog this'

No comments:

Post a Comment