America’s greatest threat — crony capitalism
As we celebrate another Independence Day with all our liberties and inalienable rights, it would also be prudent to consider the warnings that our Founding Fathers gave us. In 1787 Benjamin Franklin was asked if the new Constitution gave the country a monarchy or a republic? Franklin’s famous response was “a republic - if you can keep it”, and when asked to elaborate, he said; “Sir, there are two passions which have a powerful influence over men — the love of power and money. Separately, they prompt men to action - but when united as a post of honor and a place of profit, some men become most violent - and they will move heaven and earth to obtain it.” In 1913 the XVI Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was passed providing for the taxation of income, and Washington became “a place of profit.”
In the 2016 elections over 60 percent of the young voters (under the age of 39) voted for Bernie Sanders (a Socialist) - and then for Hillary Clinton. A recent Harvard study showed that one third of this age group favored Socialism over Capitalism. Why?
Since 1913 we have seen our political leaders slowly transform capitalism into “crony capitalism,” remove God from our schools and market place, trap our college graduates with excessive student loan debt (which Washington has now taken over, and if they “vote right” may be forgiven), and create a fictitious “War on Poverty” where they can borrow money to pay welfare benefits to buy votes. During the last 35 years the political elite in Washington, and their cronies in Silicon Valley and on Wall Street, have continued to amass great wealth while the rest of America feels economic depletion from empty Washington promises made by both Republicans and Democrats. Yet our youth are being falsely taught in many Universities that capitalism is the problem causing so much income inequality. “And they will move heaven and earth to obtain it”.
Garry Kasparov, the Russian chess grandmaster, recently stated that “a socialist economy is a rigged auction that benefits only the political elite and their friends, leaving confused citizens wondering why nothing had improved for them.” When you think about it, he is also describing American “crony capitalism.” Today our youth are indeed confused, and as Ronald Reagan warned us, “freedom is never more than one generation from extinction.”
Steve Gardes, CPA