“The consensus seems to be in favor of heading straight for the fiscal cliff,” write Thomas Lifson and Rick Moran in Europe’s Morning After at the American Thinker. In a revealing analysis, the writers take voters in recent European elections to task. Although the measures over the past few years have led to pain, an angry, fearful, and unwitting electorate, in an impulse to try something different, have chosen a path which has riled the markets.
Adam Smith’s invisible hand of God holds that individuals looking out for their own self-interest will lead to the betterment of all; this, however, only holds for economics, not politics. As Lifson and Moran add, “The democracies apparently lack the will to honestly face the realities of spending at levels that cannot be sustained by the taxpaying capacities of the populace.” Universal suffrage is a relatively recent phenomenon, and conservatives from Burke, through the founding fathers, and down to Russell Kirk and others more recently believe that voting should be restricted. In the early days of our republic, voting was limited to landowners and gradually expanded to those of some economic means. Since these are the people who fund government and whom government most affects, they are the ones who should have the most say in how government operates. When the common people who gain from government without contributing to its funding have their say, it ends up as Lifson and Moran point out, sending Europe into crisis.
The writers also understand that individual nations need to reign in their national sovereignty and provide pan-national agencies like the EU and the IMF more leeway to solve world economic problems. Germany’s Merkel and France’s Sarkozy have guided the EU to establish a stronger central bank, whose technocrats are better educated, better trained, and better equipped to manage the economy than the masses of citizens in their sovereign nations.
And lastly, Lifson and Moran leave readers with a very Catholic notion of the benefits of suffering. We can better judge the past and anticipate the future from this purgatory of painful recession. Character is built and nations are better when the common people suffer the pangs of austerity, and come through triumphant in a golden economic future.