Hakuna Matata?

I am usually excited to read the latest Forbes magazine. Normally it is full of insight from experts in numerous fields. Unfortunately, Rich Karlgaard completely misses the point in his latest article “America Will Survive ObamaCare”. Here’s where it went wrong:

Let’s not pay Washington excessive attention or overrate its capabilities–reasonable advice for investors. ObamaCare can spike up our blood pressure and blind us to moneymaking opportunities. “What opportunities?” you protest. “Won’t ObamaCare wreck America?” No. Truth is, capitalism and freedom are too strong to kill. Speaker Nancy Pelosi can’t kill them. Majority Leader Harry Reid can’t kill them. This is especially true in the age of cable TV and the Internet. The perfidies of ObamaCare are/will be instantly known. Never forget that Americans are a creative and strong people, who will not be deterred. (Anecdotal evidence: Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged is a hot seller once again.) We will figure out workarounds.” Forbes Magazine April 26, 2010 issue

First, he says that we shouldn’t pay Washington much attention. At a time when Congress and the President are making unfriendly gestures towards freedom, rights, business, the economy and America as we know it, we shouldn’t pay Washington much attention?

Second, Karlgaard says that ObamaCare won’t wreck America because freedom and capitalism are too strong to kill. Was it not Ronald Reagan who said, “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction”? Freedom–Reagan instructs–must be fought for, protected, and handed on to the next generation for them to do the same. Freedom is fragile, that is something we must not forget.

Third, it is mentioned that freedom is especially hard to kill because we have TV and Internet. China censors the TV and Internet, what stops our government? I’m not saying that our government is managing what comes up in searches on the internet or what TV shows we can watch. But, when freedom is infringed and the constitution which protects it, there is no limit to what the government can do.

Finally, Karlgaard writes that Americans are creative and strong so they will not be deterred. While he may be able to say this now, isn’t it the government who educates the majority of the American youth? If the government feels so inclined, why not alter the textbooks? Without restrictions, there is no such thing as a decent and reasonable government. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that the government will decide that something is “too far.”

How does Karlgaard rationalize his statements? He says, “The U.S. has 4% of the world’s population, 24% of its GDP and some 35% of its net worth. America can try to go to the left, but it won’t get too far because the rest of the world won’t go with it. … The U.S. can’t afford to go left in a world going right. The American population won’t let it.”

Two problems. First, the government has repeatedly decided to ignore the will of the people. The private sector has reacted strongly against potential actions, or actions that were taken. And the government has done close to nothing to actually represent the people.

Second, you may be saying, “Karlgaard is right, the people won’t let this continue when the next election comes.” But, editor-in-cheif of Forbes magazine, Steve Forbes, in the very same issue says, “If the GOP doesn’t win control of one or both Houses, then the White House can say it won a moral victory: ‘Republican gains were kept in check despite all their demagoguery and misinformation on health care and the economy,’ they’ll proclaim.” And then proceeds to state that Republicans need to focus on positive goals, the goals that made this country great.

What Forbes is saying is, Republicans are exploiting the faults of the current administration as advertisement for themselves. Instead, Republicans should focus on moving the ball in the opposite direction. Showing Americans that we will do positive thing, not just sit on their hands and only pull them out to point at the opposition. If Republicans can’t prove that they can or will do anything, winning is less likely.

Karlgaard might as well just tell everyone hakuna matata (Swahili phrase meaning “there are no worries”). I have hope for America, I have hope for freedom, I have hope for capitalism and I think America will survive. But what I don’t think is that we should ignore what is happening and sit around and wait for something worse to happen.

The full quote from Ronald Reagan is,

Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.”

We must not let America drift too far. Don’t worry yourself sick, but whatever you do, don’t ignore the root problem. Government. As Thomas Jefferson said, “The course of history shows that as a government grows, liberty decreases.”

-Ben

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