The Chinese are on their way up. Yes, on current trends (which, of course, we must not assume will continue indefinitely), their per-person income won’t pass the US’s until about 2050 … another generation … their GNP (again, on current trends) will pass ours within a few years. Of course the future is not predictable. But capitalism is a powerful system for creating wealth, even without liberal democracy … but it also builds the foundation for liberal democracy, an educated middle class.
If the Chinese can avoid the terrible mental illness which seems to have taken hold of our future ruling class – the kids at our elite universities – and keep their strong family values and love of their country and culture … they will be the leading nation of humanity by the end of the century. Of course, this assumes no all-out big war.
They foolishly implemented the one-child policy (leading to widespread female infanticide) because they bought the hysterical Leftist ‘Population Bomb’ nonsense. Actually, population growth will level off soon, at about 11 billion people, and then probably start to decline: as soon as women get an education and can have a career, even just working in a factory, they stop being baby machines. It’s happening in Iran!!! Again, good old capitalism…
Nixon did some foolish things: wage-and-price controls, for one. Playing amateur spy by bugging Democratic headquarters for another. I think he started the National Endowment for the Arts, so liberal mushheads could give awards for people whose idea of art is a crucifix upside-down in a jar of urine. He was trying to get the liberals to love him, which of course they didn’t. (It’s smart political warfare to try to neutralize as much of your opposition as possible, which means making verbal concessions to your opponent’s base. Obama was very good at this. But anytime you actually pass a law, or start a new Government department you must assume that (1) it will be there forever, and (2) at some point in the future it will be adminstered and interpreted by your deadly enemies.)
The EPA has definitely been abused, but I don’t think we should endorse the idea that anyone can do anything with his property that he wants. Commonsense conservatism (the two terms are synonyms, really) should always be in play here. I remember a few decades ago there was an eccentrict English aristocrat lady who owned an island off the Scottish coast which she claimed she would lease to the Soviets for a submarine base. She was probably just mad, or making a joke, but I don’t think Mrs Thatcher would have let her do that. And quite right too.
If you want to build a factory, or raise pigs in your backyard, in a residential neighborhood, surely you should be stopped from doing that? Or if you want to build a factory that pours choking fumes into the air? Should your local radical imam – who is careful to observe the letter of the law – be allowed to open a high-explosives factory? Surely no sensible conservative would want that.
I love libertarians … they are ‘conservatism with a human face’ on campuses, and do a brilliant job of refuting socialist insanity. But … they fall prey to the same temptation Marxists do … take a few simple ideas, which may have some merit, and then try to elaborate a whole political program on top of them, interpreting them rigidly. They want to auction off the National Parks!!! Some of them want Open Borders! Some of them want to fund the military by voluntary contributions!!!
We need to cooperate with the LIbertarians but not catch the political disease they have. We ought to be the champions of the commonsense that almost everyone, except a few ideologues, have:
don’t make radical changes when you don’t have to, especially not ones dictated by some abstract theory thought up by a guy who has never actually left his library;
if it’s not broke don’t fix it;
when you do need to change, do it slowly;
people appreciate what they have paid for/worked for, and don’t really appreciate things given to them for free;
always check and see if your well-intentioned law is actually doing what it was supposed to do;
be on the alert for unintended consequences;
know that you get more of what you subsidize and less of what you tax;
don’t trust that nice man offering you free stuff;
keep your powder dry;
don’t spend more than you have or can reasonably expect to have in the future if you do have to borrow;
live within your means;…
keep a reserve …
know that men and women are different, and that
cultures are different … in most countries the average man has contempt for the law (and rightly so), and expects to bribe and cheat, and only trusts his relatives – if he moves the US he doesn’t instantly change those attitudes, so be careful whom you let in;
above all don’t trust politicians offering you Heaven-on-Earth, if you just give them Power.