Thursday, November 6, 2008

The aftermath

So it's official: the next president of the US will be the representative from the Socialist party, Barrack Obama. True to form, the spin has already begun, with Obama already saying that the promised "change" and "good times" might take longer than one administration. Way to get a head start on lowering expectations; you're gonna need it.

I like to look at the positives when I can, though, and there are some silver linings to the dark cloud of socialist reform which is about the envelope the country. Among the positives:

  • Supreme Court appointments: Chances are we won't see any right-wing religious wackos appointed by Obama, which has to be a good thing
  • No super-majority in the Senate: It doesn't look like the Democrats will get enough seats in the Senate to be able to pass bills without getting at least a tiny semblance of bipartisan support, which has to be a good thing. Of course, with the apparent ease of bribing Congressional members to pass obscenely idiotic legislation with pork payoffs (see the $810 billion payoff bill) this may not account for much, but at least it's something.
  • Backlash in 2012: In reality, the country wasn't going to get better in the near term even with an optimal government; we've had many years of excesses which need to be corrected for. Obviously the Democrats will try their best to blame the continued decline of the economy over the next few years on after-effects of the Bush administration, but the public is only so gullible. I can hope that by 2012, at least the more intelligent independent voters will be able to see that socialism doesn't make the economy better, or raise the overall quality of life in the country.

On the downside, though, I predict much higher taxation and overall economic malaise in the next four years. The taxation will be direct for higher income individuals, and indirect for everyone (eg: higher costs for businesses per-employee, which lowers the amount they can pay people, and higher overhead costs forcing businesses to collapse). Moreover, I predict a substantially higher debt after four years of uncontrolled spending; I'm guessing around $14 trillion, but we shall see.

I guess we get to live in "interesting times".


  1. Obama is not a socialist. If you come to my town, I could introduce you to real socialists.

    I have high hopes that Obama will put into place quasi-"socialist" policies, such as some sort of system to guarantee universal access to healthcare, that will be difficult to dismantle. It will be like Social Security, kind-of crappy but radically reducing poverty.

    I will be lobbying my representatives for the reforms to be market-based. Give money or vouchers to the poor with minimal bureaucracy and ask the middle class and rich to pay the bill. I will fight any arguments to take money from the middle class under the idea that the gov’t can’t manage it (to buy healthcare, retirement, insurance, etc) better than individuals can.

    I am very excited that Obama may institute some things that will result in lower poverty for decades after he’s gone.

  2. Socialism is good as an ideal; reducing poverty, having the government take care of people, everyone working for the common good for the betterment of the whole society, etc. These are all things which most people would not object to as concepts.

    The problem with socialism, historically and in every realistic implementation, is that is doesn't produce the desired results, ever, and usually produces the exact opposite results. Socialism doesn't reduce poverty; by destroying free enterprise much less wealth is created, and thus there is more poverty. Socialism doesn't allow the government to take care of people better; again, with less money, even a more efficient government can't provide as many services. Socialism also doesn't produce an environment where everyone works hard and optimally for the betterment of society; capitalism has come the closest to that ideal, although it is certainly also flawed.

    Unfortunately, socialism sounds good in theory and promises increased prosperity to anyone who doesn't realize that it's doomed to failure, which in a largely under-educated and ill informed voting population is unfortunately a lot of people. Thus, we are somewhat doomed to walk the path again and again. It's like telling small children not to eat too much candy or they will get sick: you can talk till you're blue in the face, have decades of experience and all the evidence in the world, and they will still do it because it tastes good and they are usually fundamentally short-term thinkers.

    I hope Obama doesn't not mess the country up irreparably. I'm kinda hoping for a miserable depression in the next four years severe enough to convince even the most dense voters that socialism is not the answer, even though I know it wouldn't be entirely Obama's fault if it happened (just like the current situation is not entirely Bush's fault). I wish that the voters were smarter, longer-term thinkers as a whole, so I didn't have to suffer as the country re-learns basic lessons over and over again.