Sunday, September 23, 2012

Building on the Economy

In the American Thinker, I lay out some suggestions about how the economy connects to other issues:
Most voters understandably have concerns about the economy foremost in their minds, but we should not forget that the economy is not just an isolated problem that ails us; in fact, the poor economy is both a symptom of a broader faltering and a factor that affects other parts of our national enterprise.  To wit:
  • A weakening economy limits the capacity of the U.S. to project its power across the world.  Economic growth powers military might and softer forms of geopolitical influence, so the lack of this growth weakens the U.S.'s hand in international affairs.
  • A poor economy pushes the federal government farther toward fiscal insolvency.  A huge driver of our current deficits is the terrible economic and employment picture.  Moreover, these huge deficits themselves can imperil the economy in the future through weakening the United States' credit and distorting the global market.
  • Economic stagnation imperils the dream of upward mobility that has been so central for the American ethos of free-market optimism.
  • The hollowing out of the economy leads to fewer opportunities for Americans of diverse talents and abilities.  A proliferation of opportunity is good fertilizer for the cultivation of skills and opportunity, so the shredding of opportunities also closes down many horizons.
  • The same psychology that has contributed to the current economic stagnation -- that toxic combination of shortsightedness, incompetence, cronyism, self-dealing, regulatory dysfunction, cocoon-like self-righteousness, and vanity -- does more than imperil our pocketbooks; it also troubles so many other enterprises within our nation.
  • An increasingly unstable and dissatisfying economic outlook threatens the middle class, the traditional bulwark of republican government, and many civil liberties.  Further economic decay may undermine the small-government foundations of this nation.
Read the rest here.

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