The parades are over and barbecue residue’s all mopped up following America’s birthday weekend.
Yet at a moment when we should vividly remember why our Founders sacrificed so much to secure freedom, the Obama administration continues force-feeding its twisted vision for this country — one where simple-minded residents delight in embracing cradle-to-grave dependence upon all-knowing and unaccountable government employees.
As happened in 2012, when Democrats mocked those who cautioned that too much dependence is truly dangerous, voices are already stirring against those who warn this year that America is exhausting its ability to charge massive government spending to the account of future generations.
We have not yet reached a place where we must again pledge “our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor” so that proper balance gets restored between those who serve in government and those who drive the private sector, which is the engine of the American economy.
But it is well past time to stop accepting government propaganda concerning the state of our economy as revealed wisdom, especially when it is uncritically accepted in the mainstream media.
Only private sector offers true independence
One reason why so few Americans follow economic news becomes obvious after a release this past Thursday by the U.S. Department of Labor of the June unemployment report.
Ratios trumpeted in the official government survey will not pay bills or provide true financial security for most Americans — though they fill up space in print columns and time over airwaves, keeping pundits busy.
What these reports do not address is the alarming long-term trend in which nonmilitary government spending (largely financed by borrowing) is starting to overwhelm private sector incomes.
From 1969 through 1980, under Presidents Nixon, Ford and Carter, nonmilitary government spending averaged 53.9 percent of private sector wage and proprietors’ income. Since then, this ratio has steadily grown, averaging 57.6 percent under Presidents Reagan and George H.W. Bush, 63.2 percent under President Clinton and 63.5 percent under President George W. Bush. And under President Obama, between 2009 and the first quarter annualized in 2014, the ratio has soared to a stunning average of 74.2 percent.
Government spending is immune to the laws of gravity, while global competition and advances in technology seem sure to constrain growth in private sector incomes for years.
Across America, adults understand that something has remained deeply amiss since 2008: Despite unprecedented government spending and extraordinary intervention by our central bank to stimulate economic activity, Americans who work outside the public sector justifiably fear the future.
A warning we should heed today
At 33, Thomas Jefferson was the principal author of a 1,331-word document that changed the course of history, lifting countless souls into liberty ever since.
In a life that ended exactly 50 years after the solemn date we still honor each year, Thomas Jefferson had by then earned many accomplishments, including as a member of the Continental Congress, governor of Virginia, minister to France, secretary of state, vice president and president.
Though Jefferson wrote many letters and answered a questionnaire from the French government that was published as “Notes on the State of Virginia,” he never penned an autobiography or another book.
Early in his career, Jefferson did issue a poignant caution in 1785 that rings true at this very moment:
“[The People] will forget themselves, but in the sole faculty of making money, and will never think of uniting to effect a due respect for their rights. The shackles, therefore, which shall not be knocked off at the conclusion of this war, will remain on us long, will be made heavier and heavier, till our rights shall revive or expire in a convulsion.”
Inside America, our government has slipped beyond effective control of the people.
Will those of us who might restore this country to greatness wake up soon enough?
• Charles Ortel serves as managing director of Newport Value Partners (NewportValue.com), which provides economic research to executives and to investment firms.