I was asked by Gresham Bouma’s PR guy to speak at a press conference held last Monday. I had all weekend to think about it. The idea was to have some local Business people talk about their challenges in running and growing a business in this economy, with emphasis on the old “jobs” meme (a meme I find ridiculous simply because jobs are the side effect of creation and production, which in turn arise from inspiration, which can’t blossum without liberty. If we seek to add “jobs” without addressing all those prerequisites, we’re completely missing the point and if we allow the prerequisites to exist, we don’t have to worry about “jobs”).
It was only as I was driving to the conference that this little thought came;
A lot of people are not so much thinking of hiring right now as they’re just Bracing For Impact.
I wanted to keep it really short, so I just laid out the two visions of government. In one, I said, the government’s job is to reign us in, control us, direct us, redirect us, tell us what to do and what not to do. It starts with the notion, which comes to every one of us at some point as we watch other people speaking, debating, or running a company, that WE could do a better job if only WE were in charge. I made the point that in a free society, that confidence, justified or not, is what inspires us to go out into the market and prove ourselves. It’s the motivation for the engine of prosperity.
It’s when government comes along, appeals to the spirit that tells us “I can do better”, then promises to take the reins and use the coercive power of government to FORCE people to “do it the right way” that we step off into the abyss.
The other vision of government is that its job is to protect our rights– our property rights and freedom, rather than to direct us.
I looked the press people in the eyes and asked them, personally; “If you were starting a business, under which model of government would you prefer to do it– the one that says government’s job is to rein you in, control you, direct you, pile on requirements and restrict you, and then tax you to pay for public works, or the one in which government is there to protect your rights? “I think it’s pretty obvious” and I left it at that. It only took two minutes or so.
I was watching an old episode of Glen Beck a few nights later. It was almost year old and I’d never seen it, but I was randomly searching the site– something I’d never done because I don’t have the level of subscription that allows me to watch much on there. But there was that old episode under some other heading, way down on the menu, and in it were those exact same words that Beck said had come to him last summer; “Brace for Impact”.
So what if things aren’t going to get all that bad. Maybe we somehow can avoid hyper-inflation, energy and fuel rationing, and all the unrest combined with blatant and not so blatant attacks from all directions by multiple enemies of liberty. If you’re somewhat ready anyway, the worst that can happen is that you’ll have some extra food, backup power, expanded capabilities and overall greater independence. That doesn’ seem like a bad thing.