Tom McLaughlin

A former history teacher, Tom is a columnist who lives in Lovell, Maine. His column is published in Maine and New Hampshire newspapers and on numerous web sites. Email:

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Unsustainable Economics

Disdainful, but dependent. That’s how I would describe the teenagers who seemed cool to many in junior high and high school. Parents, most teachers, and other authority figures were objects of their disdain because they were hopelessly uncool - not as aware of how the world was changing as they themselves were. Most of those teenagers grow up, however, because their parents tolerate their rebellion only up to a point and then cut them loose to fend for themselves. Thus they learn what Margaret Thatcher said: “The facts of life are conservative.”

Others don’t. They never seem to learn the facts of life, probably because they continue to blame something outside themselves for their personal failures. Other people are to blame, or the system is to blame for all the world’s problems as well as their own. They were ostentatious non-conformists who portrayed themselves as “counterculture.” They wanted to bring down the establishment culture, but didn’t have anything plausible to replace it with. Those young people had a vague idea of what they were against, but little idea of what they were for - and they still don’t as “adults.”

A few “cool” teachers indulged the fashionably-alienated teenagers in the old days because they didn’t fit in either. Now, however, they comprise whole faculties. As they do in any time or place in history, these “rebels” believed they knew the ways of the world while their “establishment” parents and teachers did not. But they were dependent for their physical sustenance on the very system they disdained. They needed food, clothing, shelter, medical care, and someone to pay their tuition at the colleges and universities they eventually went to, rebelled against, and ultimately took over. That’s how I understand people like Bill Ayers, his wife, Bernadine Dohrn, and the other pampered radicals from the sixties and seventies who steer the Democrat Party today.

The free-enterprise system they rebelled against is what produced in abundance the material necessities they consumed but didn’t appreciate. Capitalism, and the democratic republic in which it operates and thrives, have long been objects of their disdain. Now, with the impending election of Barack Obama and the bolstering of Nancy Pelosi’s and Harry Reid’s majorities in the Congress, those cool, disdainful, and still dependent people are about to secure their lock on the establishment. They’re not young anymore, but they haven’t grown up enough yet either to understand what they’re doing. As they expand New Deal and Great Society entitlement programs to an unsustainable level, the system they hate will no longer will be able to provide material necessities. The national debt is over $10 trillion and the dollar is no longer the world’s currency of choice. The hand that feeds them has been bitten and gnawed upon so long and so much it’s getting weak. The goose that laid the golden egg is going into molt. Those overgrown teenagers are about to discover that there’s a limit.

As they go about their Robin Hood redistribution policies over the next two to four years - as they “spread the wealth around” like Obama told Joe the plumber - it’s not going to be “good for everyone.” How much do Democrats think they can crank up taxes on “the rich” who are already paying most of the taxes? And how is Obama going to cut taxes on 95% of Americans when over 30% of them aren’t paying any taxes at all? What will he do with them? Just give them our money? They can call it whatever they want, but the rest of us “Joe the Plumbers” out here know what it really is. It’s Marxism: “From each, according to his ability. To each, according to his need,” with Obama, Pelosi and Reid deciding who is able and who is needy. That’s “Change” all right, but not “Change You Can Believe In.” I sure don’t believe in it.

Those of us who work our butts off aren’t going to keep doing it if government is going to take the fruit of our labor and “spread it around” to those who sit on theirs. That’s the hard reality. A radical leftist Obama Administration with a radical leftist Congress to back it up promise everything. As columnist Mark Steyn puts it: “The spirit of the age is: Ask not what your country can do for you, demand it.” He’s a Canadian who came to the United States and admires us as a last outpost against encroaching European-style socialism. Now he laments what he sees coming if Democrats sweep the election next week: "[For] a vigilant republic of limited government and self-reliant citizens, [an Obama Administration] would be a Declaration of Dependence.”

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

People are stupid and don't know what's being done to them right under their noses. If you tax those "Rich People" so they take their business out of the country to some other business friendly place, where is this "spread it around money" going to come from? I'm glad these rich people make lots of money because they provide jobs and I can get a paycheck. They worked for it. They earned it. I work for them and get a paycheck. Hello out there!

Harvey in North Baldwin

10/29/08, 7:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Another good article Tom. I agree with everything except the Robin Hood part. Robin Hood "took from the Rich, who took from the Poor." Our rich people of today worked hard and put in a lot of hours for their hard earned money. There's a big difference!
Beverly, Bartlett

10/29/08, 7:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Another good article Tom. I agree with everything except the Robin Hood part. Robin Hood "took from the Rich, who took from the Poor." Our rich people of today worked hard and put in a lot of hours for their hard earned money. There's a big difference!
Beverly, Bartlett

10/29/08, 7:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are a pretension jackass.

10/29/08, 9:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


10/29/08, 9:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

anonymous said...
You are a pretentious jackass.

10/29/08 6:32 PM

At first read I thought Tom's article made a great point...but after this comment I'm now convinced Tom must be completely wrong.

10/30/08, 10:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Another good piece; as one who lived through Socialist experiments in the 50's I can tell you they are not much fun.

There is a flip side to all this though. That great and good man Eisenhower gave warning of the impending takeover of American life in his last speech in January 1961. He warned of the rising influence and power of the Industrial-Military complex. Today that translates to the impossible profits of large conglomerates and the tendency to reward to fantastic levels their power holders regardless of the sucess or failure of their efforts.
Another result is the enormous influence in all aspects of our life the media has on how we think, live and die.
The individual feels lost in all this concentrated power and influence; I presume that is what Obama is talking about and if it is more power to him.


10/30/08, 12:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is hard to imagine the American electorate falling for such hollow rhetoric of "change" that really involves poverty tax on the US while we struggle with our own economy, nationalizing 401-k's to be managed by the likes of Barney Frank Chris Dodd and that financial genius Maxine Waters. The bail-out has worked so well. It seems apparent that revisionist history allows us comfort in doing what fits the classic definition of insanity. Central planning has worked so well elsewhere, just ask a starving North Korean.

10/31/08, 8:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gee, I was convinced of the need for "change", and was prepared to mend my miserly right-wing racist ways. Then we find that on top of embargoing everything from his birth certificate, health records, bar application, legislative records, academic records & writings, the messiah who wants to share our wealth at his direction not only has a 1/2 brother living on a dollar a month, he has an aunt who is an illegal alien living in a housing project in Boston apparently on welfare who has illegally donated to him. Guess I'll just have to remain one of those racist law-abiding white guys. Still little preferable to being a complete hypocrite.

11/1/08, 8:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You know, Tom, I like your blog!

BUT you should really NOT post this kind of Pelosi picture without a previous barf alert.

A cruel man, you are!


11/1/08, 8:23 PM  
Blogger Tom McLaughlin said...

Sorry TC. That was irresponsible of me. I'll include the requisite warnings from now on. Hope you didn't ruin any clothes.

11/2/08, 8:09 PM  
Blogger Tom McLaughlin said...

To the last two Anonymous postings, I'll point you to a recently-seen bumper sticker in Texas stating:

"I'll keep my freedom, my guns, and my money, you can keep THE CHANGE."

11/2/08, 8:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Having spent some time in Texas, I suspect there are some who have no idea of just how serious the guy with the bumper-sticker may be. One needn't be a history major to see some disturbing parallels between pre-ww II Germany, and what an Obama presidency brings to the table.

11/3/08, 5:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Want you to know that I really like your blog. Being a very patriotic American living outside the USA, I have watched (from a distance) as my country has literally gone down the drain. It's like the frog that is sitting in water and the water keeps getting hotter. He doesn't realize he's a goner until it is too late. But from here, from a distance, I have been pointing out to everyone who would listen the things that have been going on.
I have a difficult time understanding why the people of my country are so stupid as to believe anything that comes out of Obama's mouth. He is a slick-tongued con man he talks pretty and says absolutely nothing that is for the good of my country. And now he says that those of us who don't want to be part of redistributing the weath are "selfish". Sadly, I fear that the stupid, blind Americans are going to get exactly what they think they want. If Obama wins tomorrow, I wonder how long it will be before they wake up, if they ever do.
I would like to put my name on this, but don't really want Obama enforcers breathing down my neck when and if he gets elected.

11/3/08, 7:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

...well you're on the road!

First two US towns voted for Obama.

- tomax7

11/4/08, 11:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, it's all over. When January comes we should soon get an idea if Obama is a real danger to the country in which case the checks and balances will hopefully kick in. Or if he is a genuine patriot who believes like many of us that Corporate America and others completely control our lives and that it is time to do something about it.

11/5/08, 9:41 AM  

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