‘Progressives’ took America backward
By Seth Grossman, Political Columnist
About 130 years ago, Professor Woodrow Wilson started teaching the new doctrine at PrincetonUniversity that started the “progressive” movement in the United States.
Wilson taught that the basic principles of liberty in our Declaration of Independence and U.S. and state Constitutions were obsolete and unfair. He said it was wrong for each citizen to have “certain unalienable rights” because modern society is too complicated for ordinary citizens to make the most important decisions concerning their own lives. And they are too selfish to do what is best for the “common good.”
When Wilson became New Jersey governor in 1910, he ordered the arrest of bar owners who sold liquor in Atlantic City on Sundays. Progressives did not think ordinary workers could decide how to properly enjoy their days off. Ten years later, these progressives made it a crime to sell liquor on any day, anywhere in the United States. This quickly created much bigger problems with government corruption, organized crime, and expensive new government agencies and prisons to try to fix the mess they created.
Progressives continue to do that. They make laws that force us to burn corn for fuel in our cars, and laws to expand food stamp programs when food is made too expensive. They triple our electric bills to pay for windmills and solar panels – and then charge a “societal benefits fee” to pay for those who can’t afford the higher rates. Progressives force colleges to raise tuitions for expensive new programs, and then “help” students with big student loans they can’t afford.
Progressives force health insurance companies to raise prices to cover things like sex-change operations, and then give us ObamaCare when most people can’t afford those policies. They created a complicated feudal system.
When Democrats are in control, they give us lots of those new progressive laws that increase government spending, taxes and debt. When Republicans are in control, they rarely roll back what the Democrats did. They instead give us even more progressive programs and taxes as they “reach across the aisle” to “meet Democrats halfway.”
So where have progressives taken America since Woodrow Wilson became president in 1913? They took us backward, to the old European culture of the Middle Ages that our ancestors ran away from.
Our parents and grandparents came to America for unlimited opportunity. Here, almost anyone could work and save enough to buy his or her own farm or business. Laws were simple, fair and applied equally, so they did not need expensive lawyers, bribes or political connections to get started. Low taxes and costs let poor people keep most of what they earned so they could invest and get rich.
Today’s progressive laws and tax codes are so complicated that only big corporations and people who are already rich can afford the lawyers, lobbyists and political contributions to get permits and stay in business.
“Progressive” tax codes with high rates and thousands of pages of exceptions and loopholes let millionaires and billionaires like Jon Corzine, Al Gore, the Kennedys, etc., keep the fortunes and political power they already have.
But they make it almost impossible for anyone other than a handful of athletes, celebrities, criminals and lottery winners to become rich unless they have rich or influential parents – just like in Old Europe.
Even modest middle class jobs in today’s progressive America are like the hereditary entitlements of the lesser nobility in Old Europe. Most well-paid jobs like public school teacher, police officer, fireman or union construction worker are directly or indirectly funded with taxes the rest of us are forced to pay. They are hard to get without some friend or relative inside the palace, just like in Old Europe.
Before the progressives took America backward, young people were encouraged to experiment, innovate and think for themselves. They were taught to be like the Wright Brothers – bicycle mechanics who built the first airplane out of spare parts in their garage.
Can solar panels or windmills produce reliable electricity? How many high school science teachers today have their students build them and hook them up to toasters to see how well they work? Are the FEMA experts right in saying that piles of sand work better than concrete seawalls? Do any Stockton geology professors assign students to do experiments? Or make systematic observations and collect the data to find out?
Or is “in their best interests” to simply teach their students to memorize and repeat what they are told? Like in the Middle Ages?
(Reprinted from December 12, 2012 Current-Gazette Newspapers of Atlantic and Cape May Counties, http://www.shorenewstoday.com/snt/news/index.php/politics/32610-progressives-took-america-backward.html)
Somers Point attorney Seth Grossman appears on 92.1FM 8-9 a.m. Saturday. For information see www.libertyandprosperity.org, email email@example.com or call (609) 927-7333. Breakfast discussions are held 9:30-10:30 a.m. every Saturday at the Shore Diner on Fire and Tilton roads in Egg Harbor Township.
(Image source – http://www.usasurvival.org/images/amer_dream_confer2.png)