Separation Anxiety – Tea Party Nation

Barack Obama - Caricature

Separation Anxiety – Tea Party Nation.

Posted by Tim Nerenz

While expressing his solidarity with the Occupy Wall Street movement this week, President Obama said something very weird – that OWS and Tea Party protestors share the frustration of feeling separated from our government.

No we don’t. I desperately want to be separated from my government again; separation from government is the whole purpose of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. It draws the lines between us and our government; it is our national restraining order against a stalking pervert who climbs through our windows every chance he gets to steal our stuff and cop a feel while we are sleeping.

I doubt if separation from government is what makes the employees of Gibson Guitars frustrated these days. My guess is that the feds busting down their doors and shutting them down indefinitely for no reason whatsoever is probably more of a concern. They are probably more than a little frustrated that the guy who keeps yammering on about his jobs bill is the reason they lost theirs.

And it is a safe bet that the small regional banks that are being choked to death by regulators under the Dodd-Frank bank “reform” bill don’t see separation from government as a major problem. Congressman Frank sees no conflict between his taking heaps of cash from the giant Wall Street banks and writing the new rules that effectively take out their smaller competitors while guaranteeing their profits. He supports OWS, too, providing a role model for schizophrenics with political ambitions.

And weren’t you happy to learn that First Lady Michelle Obama wants to “shape” your children for you? Personally, I would like to establish some considerable distance between me and someone who thinks children should be shaped, like little pieces of clay. Does she want to dress them up and take pictures, too? We like our kids to be separated from strangers like that…and we like our First Ladies to be a little less creepy. I’m not sure how the OWS crowd feels about it.

By linking the Tea Party and OWS, President Obama once again shows us he doesn’t know his country very well. Most of us do not want government to sit in our lap; we want it to go lay by its dish. Americans are united in the things we are against; what divide us are the things we are for.

No one wants more crime, poverty, injustice, racism, drug abuse, inflation, illiteracy, pollution, unemployment, bankruptcy, fraud, illness, and premature death; we only disagree about how to combat them. And everyone sees war as the last resort; we just disagree on what comes second to last.

President Obama and his ideologically aligned liberals, Democrats, progressives, and socialists are for more government and less liberty. Like helicopter moms, they see separation from government as way too risky for their citizen/children; they demand a government that protects us from ourselves at our grandchildren’s expense.

Conservatives, libertarians, constitutionalists, principled Republicans, and political agnostics are for less government and more liberty. We do not want to be mothered by government; we want to live free of government supervision and approval. Separation from government does not cause us fear and anxiety; we crave it.

When asked if we want more government or less of it, Americans consistently choose “less” by 2:1 margins. That has been one of the most consistent polling questions over the past three decades. OWS is not the 99%; it is some tiny fraction of the 33% who say “more”.

When I went off to college, my mom and dad did not cry and neither did I; after 18 years of dependence on them, we were both happy to empty the nest. I was grateful to them for preparing me for that day, and they were even more grateful that it finally came.

There were other kids who spent that whole day bawling with their parents; I didn’t understand why back then, but a little wisdom has stuck to me over the decades that have passed since. We all grew older but we didn’t change much.

Some Americans see every new day as an opportunity to learn and grow, to overcome new challenges, to succeed and prosper, to be responsible, to discover how high is up for ourselves and to help others do the same. The happy kids.

Others wake to dread the dawn; seeing only hurdles that can’t be overcome, barriers that can’t be breached, disadvantage and unfairness, and a world so difficult to manage that only government can protect us from it. The bawling kids.

The painful truth is that we choose which of those two worlds we will live in. The happy kids and the bawling kids all went to the same campus. And the awful truth is that politics is the imposition of one viewpoint upon the believers of the other. The genius of democracy is that is allows us to change who wins without killing each other.

In the natural order of things, the mighty fall. The prodigal squanders, the haughty are brought low, nations decline, empires implode. This creates space at the top for the lowly to rise. Our iconic national story is one of humble beginnings which end in glory.

The problem with government is that it disturbs that natural order; it props up the mighty and crushes the meek. In a free market, privilege cannot be defended, it must be re-earned. Enron’s separation from government allowed it to rightfully perish alone; Fannie Mae’s incestuous relationship took us all down with it.

Maybe the bawling kids are still fooled by the teleprompter President, but the happy kids aren’t buying it. We are not still mired in recession almost four years later because government can’t clutch us tight enough to its bosom; we are stuck in the ditch because it won’t get off our backs.

Mr. President, with all due respect, we are not frustrated over our separation from government; it is that your separation from government can’t come fast enough.

“Moment Of Clarity” is a weekly commentary by Libertarian writer and speaker Tim Nerenz, Ph.D. Visit Tim’s website to find your moment.


Occupy Wall Street is a Misinformed Fraud – Jeff Carter – Townhall Finance

Occupy Wall Street is a Misinformed Fraud – Jeff Carter – Townhall Finance.

Varying posts of mine have elicited comments from Occupy Wall Street spokespeople. I thought that I might respond to one of them in a blogpost. Remember, I am already pitching a perfect game against them.

Now that none other than Obama babysitter and terrorist Bill Ayers has decided to break for Occupy Wall Street, I think I am on even firmer ground.

I am assuming the 1%’ers the OWS street crowd wants to send to re-education camps according to Roseanne Barr is the people that make more than $200k per year. Guess what. A lot of those people are doing it with their own risk capital. They aren’t corporate employees. For the corporate employees that earn more than that, at least they are making decisions that affect billions of dollars of shareholder money. Those corporate employees in general earn it.

How does OWS feel about union executives that earn more than most of the corporate employees that employ the union? Just sayin’.

Am I pissed off about executives of banks walking away with golden parachutes and huge bonuses after running banks into the ground? You bet. But I am smart enough to realize that the Federal Government gave them the ammo to kill their companies via Fannie and Freddie, and then saved them with TALF and TARP. You might also remember that government forced companies like Bank of America ($BAC) to merge with Merrill Lynch ($ML), and that going back to 1998, it was President Clinton and Treasury Secretary Rubin that pushed hard for ending Glass-Steagall.

So yeah, I wouldn’t have bailed out the banks. I doubt many Tea Partiers would have. We aren’t happy about the outcome either. We don’t like Dodd-Frank and think it should be repealed. But it doesn’t mean we should nationalize and socialize the entire banking system. That would cause a worse train wreck than we already have.

The OWS crowd is really ticked off about education and student debt. So am I. Why the heck do we have so many subsidies for education? It simply drives up the cost. Education is one gigantic bloated bureaucracy. However, the OWS answer is “free education and forgiveness of student loans.” Well, screw that.

Why not offer competition in education? By the way, no one put a gun to your head an told you to borrow massive sums of money for school. You could have worked your way through, went to a community college the first two years and then a four year school. Did it occur to any of you to check out how much money a typical sociology graduate degreed person made before you ponied up more than 100K to get that sociology masters? Economics work. Used correctly, they help you make good decisions. Used poorly, you do stupid things.

Which politicians are using bigotry and hate? It’s not the right that is consistently playing the race card. Right now it’s the man in the oval office. He plays it as much as he can. I don’t hear cries of racism coming from the right. Were the OWS people in Atlanta racists for not letting a former civil rights activist turned Congressman speak? Just asking.

You guys embrace Obamacare. Yet, you don’t look at how other countries have fared with socialized medicine. Canada is starting to scrap it. England is considering it too. Entitlements eat up our budget. Why not more transparency and a free market targeted to individuals in health care?

OWS wants organic produce. They want green farming. No one takes better care of their land than the guy who owns it. We also can’t feed the world using organic means. OWS would rather see children starving than people eating. There is plenty of organic produce out there. All you have to do is buy it. Why take away freedom from people that don’t want to pay for it?

On energy policy you want green energy. Don’t we all. Problem is, the stuff doesn’t work and its too expensive. The greenest, most powerful energy source out there is nuclear and I don’t see you guys campaigning for more nuclear plants. Have you seen the damage to wildlife that wind energy has created? Energy is about economics. Increase the supply of energy and all prices will come down. But, from your statements I don’t think anyone from OWS spent a lot of time in a free market economics lecture. Google this, TINFL. Understand it. Live it.

You OWS people seem to be upset at corporations that pay no tax. Me too! But, you want to tax them more. I got news for you. Corporations never pay taxes. They are simply tax aggregators. They pass the cost to their consumers. We would be better off charging companies 0% in corporate taxes and incenting them to create jobs here in the US. Then you guys could go to work, pay off your student loans and stay out of the parks so everyone could go and enjoy them.

Most of the problems in the US stem from bad public policy and big government. Governments are awfully hard to put out of business. But it’s easy to put companies out of business. Don’t buy their product. Don’t use their services. Elect Tea Party people, they’ll shrink the size of government and give you more freedom.

You seem to be upset that corporations are treated as individuals in the eyes of the law. Well, there are years and years of legal precedent associated with that. But perhaps you’d like a good reason why. Try checking out and understanding Coase Theorem. Then answer the question of who should pay for pollution control devices on a river, the factory that pollutes it or the fishermen that earn a living by hauling fish out of the river?

We can disband all the companies if you want. We can blow up Wall Street and the capital markets. We can round up all the capitalists and send them to a camp. But, sooner rather than later the totalitarian paradise you envision will be ripped apart by economics. Black markets will tear at the fabric of your structured society. Markets eliminate transaction costs, increase transparency and make things cheaper!


Because earning a profit and building economies of scale and scope are part of the human condition. Mankind has done it since the beginning of time. Our lives are easier, better and our standard of living is raised. All we really need is to get big government out of the way.

The sooner you embrace that the better off you will be.