Welcome to Buffalo Jump U.S.A.
By Harold Witkov
Prior to the arrival of the horse in North America, certain Native American tribes had an interesting system for hunting buffalo. The hunters would wait for a buffalo herd to arrive in just the right pasture. Then, sneaking up behind the herd, tribe members would begin to panic the unsuspecting buffalo by yelling at the top of their lungs and throwing rocks. The panicked buffalo would then go into stampede mode, sometimes for miles along a narrowing route, while more hunters from the tribe lay in wait. When the terrified buffalo neared, these hunters would jump out from behind rock piles and trees, continue the boisterous harassment, and keep the herd scurrying forward. Finally, the narrow path ended with a cliff, and the entire herd plummeted to its death. At the bottom of the cliff, or buffalo jump, the rest of the tribe was there to finish off any surviving buffalo and make use of the kill.
A buffalo lacks intelligence. It is a part of a herd and has a herd mentality. If one or two buffalo are significantly frightened, a panic will spread throughout the herd until all the buffalo will be of one panicked mind. The human mind is infinitely superior to that of a buffalo. Unfortunately, when people are frightened and fear for their safety, they often forget themselves, and act like buffalo. Today, many Americans fear for their financial safety.
Contrary to mainstream media spin, the recent financial woes of our nation are not the result of a lack of regulation, rather of governmental intervention and over regulation. According to Mark Levin's bestseller, Liberty and Tyranny, it was government intervention, or a by-product of government intervention, that "led to the housing bust of 2008, which spread to the financial markets and beyond."
It was at this time that some of America's supposedly strongest financial institutions proved to be teetering on bankruptcy. People feared for their pensions, their investments, their financial future, and the financial future of the nation. With this panic came billion dollar bailouts for Bear Stearns, AIG, and Citigroup. But bailing out one financial giant at a time was not enough, America needed a cure-all bill, and we needed it right away! That is how we got the 700 billion dollar pork bill called the Troubled Asset Relief Program, known as TARP.
The continual emergency bailout of corporate giants began a widespread financial panic among Americans. By the time TARP passed, we had become a stampede of buffalo.
Now we have President Change. In his first 100 days, his change has been to provide more spending, more pork, more debt, more borrowing, and more federal employees for the future, all to the tune of trillions of dollars. His strategy, get the printing presses working at warp speed. Our president also has a strategy for the healthcare industry: nationalized healthcare. As if this is not troublesome enough, our new president has been methodically taking over and nationalizing the auto and bank industries.
If the president succeeds with the nationalization of the private sector, and that seems to be where he is heading, it will be our undoing. The nationalization of the U.S. economy will be America's own personal buffalo jump.
Our founding fathers understood that capitalism (not socialism) provided the ideal framework for individual liberty and prosperity. Thomas Jefferson wrote a "wise and frugal government" is one that will "leave men free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement." If our President succeeds in nationalizing the private sector, American prosperity will decay, as will our strength and standing in the world. The wrong type of people will pick up the vacuum of power we will leave behind and the world will become a much more dangerous place.
During a buffalo jump stampede, one terrified buffalo turned to another and asked, "What says conventional wisdom?" The other buffalo responded, "Conventional wisdom says we are headed in the right direction."
According to a recent AP poll, more Americans than not say the United States is headed in the right direction. Welcome to Buffalo Jump U.S.A.
This is Harold Witkov's first contribution to Enter Stage Right. © 2009 Harold Witkov
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