- - Friday, October 14, 2016

We, the people of the United States of America, are scared to death. We are facing a decision which may well determine the future of this nation. The major alternatives are Democrat Hillary Clinton, who recently bribed her way out of a criminal indictment in full view of the public, and Donald Trump, who appears to be hot-tempered and thin-skinned. Neither choice is George Washington. No wonder we are scared.

What is at stake is an accelerated rush to a European–type socialism with Hillary, or a serious attempt to return to democratic capitalism with Donald. Let’s look at this issue for a moment.

Ultimately, the economic paradigm of government is very simple. All income (Gross Domestic Product) is generated by sales, which means that people trade their own money to receive some product or service. The product or service had a cost to the seller. If the sale yields more money that the cost, the difference is a profit. The total profits of all the sales is the GDP. There is no other source of income. Government at all levels then forces people to give part of their profits to government through taxes. That is the source of all government revenue. If there were no profits there could be no government.

The next step is where things get more complicated. In order for the sellers of the world to have products or services to sell, they need money to produce whatever they want to sell. This is true for services as well as products because the service provider has to eat, sleep and prepare for the services through training, marketing, transportation, etc. The funds for production come also from previous profits. So, there is always a competition between government and production for the profits available. If the government takes too much of the GDP, the producers cannot produce enough products to generate profits and the whole system collapses. This is what happened to Greece and Detroit.

Socialism is built on the idea that producers must be forced to share a large portion of their profits with the public. The vehicle for this enforcement is taxation. The socialist government then provides benefits to the public on a massive scale – through free medical care, education, welfare programs, etc. This is what Barack Obama, Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton mean when they call for taxing the rich to give free college tuition, single-payer medical care, and ever-increasing national parks (now 28 percent of entire US landmass), among other government programs.

The problem with socialism is its misreading of human nature. It ignores the basic human drive for self-preservation, which quickly morphs into motivation to seek personal security, satisfaction and well-being. This motivation is crucial to the production of goods and services. Essentially, people ask, “What’s in it for me?” whenever they face a new challenge. The personal standard of reward ranges from sustenance to greed to power, depending on the individual and the situation. But history has shown us clearly that capitalism is the most successful system in the history of the world for producing profits . And the most successful example of capitalism is the United States of America.

America’s Founding Fathers built the entire national ethos on the capitalist principle that every person has a right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” This foundation has served us well. True, there have been many evils in our capitalistic system, most notably slavery (which was not invented in America). But American history is fundamentally the story of recognition of our sins against our basic beliefs and our efforts to overcome those deficits within the framework of capitalism.

The driving force for these reforms has been democracy, which seeks to include all those excluded from the system even at the cost of war and civil disorder. Clearly, capitalism is the best economic system ever invented, and democracy is the best political system to counterbalance capitalism and to mitigate its risks to human life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Thus, America’s democratic capitalism gives us the best of both systems.

In order to function correctly and to exercise its role as the watchdog reformer of capitalism, democracy must remain free from corruption. Democracy finds its ultimate expression in elected officials. The public must have confidence in the integrity of these officials in order for the system to work. If the public comes to believe that self-interest is the primary concern of public officials, then respect for the law which holds the entire system together is eroded and chaos in the form of lawlessness looms more and more vividly. We are experiencing this trend today in America.

America has always had to fight corruption, from Aaron Burr and Thomas Jefferson in Colonial times to Spiro Agnew in modern times. The most flagrant example of selling political influence today is the Clintons. Whatever the faults of her political doctrine, they pale in comparison to her open defiance of law and ethics. To be complicit in selling control of 20 percent of America’s uranium supply to the Russians, to providing a virtual open microphone in the form of emails to our enemies regarding national secrets, to amassing a $200 million fortune when all the Clintons have ever done is hold public office – the list is staggering. This blatant lawlessness clearly shows that Hillary Clinton is not qualified to be president of the United States of America.

This leaves Donald Trump. As an individual, he is erratic and short-tempered. However, it is important to note that the president is first of all chief executive of the USA. This means that he oversees the vast bureaucracy of the federal government. Starting with the U.S. Supreme Court nominees through federal judges and nearly 20,000 other vacancies, the presidential appointments are among the most important functions of the presidency. So, who does Mr. Trump have in his inner circle at this time? His vice president nominee is the conservative governor of Indiana, Mike Pence. Other prominent members are former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, current New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions, his three older children, Ivanka, Donald Jr., and Eric Trump, famed surgeon Dr. Ben Carson, and Liberty University President Rev. Jerry Falwell Jr. These choices are not radical or extreme. in fact, they are quite conservative. The same is true of the list of possible Supreme Court nominees released last summer (Barack Obama was not on the list). Trump has, in fact, a reputation for seeking the most qualified experts needed for his building projects.

The remaining issues are Trump’s personal qualities. There is no question that he is a charismatic leader. His brief but spectacular political campaign shows that. Then there is his temperament — really, his temper. This is a risk. There have been other presidents noted for their short tempers – Ulysses S. Grant, Harry Truman, Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton come to mind.

In comparison to Hillary Clinton, however, this risk has to be taken. She loses on both counts — policies and personal morality. Trump at least will be beholden to no donors or special interests. From that point of view, he may be the best candidate in a generation to clean up the scandals, especially in the Justice Department, the Veterans Administration and the Internal Revenue Service.

All in all, even with his faults, Donald J. Trump is by far the better choice. He has pledged to steer America’s course back to our traditional democratic capitalism – still the system responsible for the highest standard of living in the history of the world.

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