Day 20 – Inauguration Day

January 20, 2009

As nearly everyone knows, President Obama was sworn in today at noon eastern time by Chief Justice Roberts on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol. I was in English class with Dr. Jackson during the whole process, so I missed it, but I watched the speeches online later in the day. I admit that the new President is a wonderful speaker, but be wary of this. As Alan Caruba wrote over at The Progress of Liberty, “[I]f words alone could lift this nation out of its current financial crisis, its wars, and other problems, President Barack Obama could make that happen.” Unfortunately for America and its new President, good intentions do not guarantee desirable outcomes.

 

I just want to comment on a small part of what the President said. A little over half-way through, he said:

Nor is the question before us whether the market is a force for good or ill. Its power to generate wealth and expand freedom is unmatched, but this crisis has reminded us that without a watchful eye, the market can spin out of control – and that a nation cannot prosper long when it favors only the prosperous. The success of our economy has always depended not just on the size of our Gross Domestic Product, but on the reach of our prosperity; on our ability to extend opportunity to every willing heart – not out of charity, but because it is the surest route to our common good.

Download the full-text transcript of President Obama’s address.

 

He has absolutely correct when he said that the market’s power to generate wealth and freedom is unmatched. No system even comes close to rivaling the free market in its power to generate wealth. Where he went wrong was in what followed. What this crisis has actually reminded us is that with government intervention into the market, artificially created inflation, fiat money, government bailouts, high tax rates, and deficit spending make the market no longer free – in fact, it drives it into a brick wall. “The success of our economy” depends on the government backing out of the market entirely and stopping its nonsense. Only a market entirely free of government intervention and a people free from government coercion can “extend opportunity to every willing heart”. The government cannot do these things, and to a great extent, a market infected by the government cannot either.

 

The President closed with this: 

Let it be said by our children’s children that when we were tested we refused to let this journey end, that we did not turn back nor did we falter; and with eyes fixed on the horizon and God’s grace upon us, we carried forth that great gift of freedom and delivered it safely to future generations.

I will close for the day with this: If the government and America stay on the current course they are both on, freedom will soon be a thing of the past. Our children will know nothing but the statist quo (yes, I spelled that correctly…it is a play on words). Future generations, instead of rejoicing in freedom, will live under the coercive hand of government and know only of tyranny. As the new President said, we must act now. Just be sure not to follow his advice if and when you get around to acting.

 

By the way, I am willing to answer questions and clarify anything I wrote here. If you disagree with me, that is fine, I just ask that you be nice about it if you leave a comment.