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OT - How to Ruin American Enterprise

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Old 12-13-2002, 01:23 PM
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How to Ruin American Enterprise
Friday December 13, 12:02 pm ET
By Benjamin J. Stein for FORBES


We're well on our way to squelching what gives this country an edge. What would it take to kill innovation altogether?
As a casual observer of what makes this country work and what stops it cold, I hereby offer a few suggestions on how we can ruin American competitiveness and innovation in the course of this century. I think the reader will agree with me that we are already far down the road on many of them:


1) Allow schools to fall into useless decay. Do not teach civics or history except to describe America as a hopelessly fascistic, reactionary pit. Do not expect students to know the basics of mathematics, chemistry and physics. Working closely with the teachers' unions, make sure that you dumb down standards so that children who make the most minimal effort still get by with flying colors. Destroy the knowledge base on which all of mankind's scientific progress has been built by guaranteeing that such learning is confined to only a few, and spread ignorance and complacency among the many. Watch America lose its scientific and competitive edge to other nations that make a comprehensive knowledge base a rule of the society.

2) Encourage the making of laws and rules by trial lawyers and sympathetic judges, especially through class actions. Bypass the legislative mechanisms that involve elected representatives and a president. This will stop--or at least greatly slow down--innovation, as corporations and individuals hesitate to explore new ideas for fear of getting punished (or regulated to death) by litigation for any misstep, no matter how slight, in the creation of new products and services. Make sure that lawsuits against drugmakers are especially encouraged so that the companies are afraid to develop new lifesaving drugs, lest they be sued for sums that will bankrupt them. Make trial lawyers and judges, not scientists, responsible for the flow of new products and services.

3) Create a culture that blames the other guy for everything and discourages any form of individual self-restraint or self-control. Promote litigation to punish tobacco companies on the theory that they compel innocent people to smoke. Make it second nature for someone who is overweight to blame the restaurant that served him fries. Encourage a legal process that can kill a drug company for any mistakes in self-medication. Make it a general rule that anyone with more money than a plaintiff is responsible for anything harmful that a plaintiff does. Promulgate the pitiful joke that Americans are hereby exempt from any responsibility for their own actions--so long as there are deep pockets around to be rifled.

4) Sneer at hard work and thrift. Encourage the belief that all true wealth comes from skillful manipulation and cunning, or from sudden, brilliant and lucky strokes that leave the plodding, ordinary worker and saver in the dust. Make sure that society's idols are men and women who got rich from being sexy in public or through gambling or playing tricks, not from hard work or patience. Make the citizenry permanently envious and bewildered about where real success comes from.

5) Hold the managers of corporations to extremely lax standards of conduct and allow them to get off with a slap on the wrist when they betray the trust of shareholders. This will discourage thrift and investment and ensure that Americans will have far less capital to work with than other societies, while simultaneously developing that contempt for law and social standards that is the hallmark of failing nations. Hold the management of labor unions to no ethical standards.

6) While you're at it, discourage respect for law in every possible way. This will dissolve the glue that holds the nation together, and dissuade any long-term thinking. Societies in which the law can be clearly seen to apply to some and not to others are doomed to decay, in terms of innovation and everything else.

7) Encourage a mass culture that spits on intelligence and study and instead elevates drug use, coolness through sex and violence, and contempt for school. As children learn to be stupid instead of smart, the national intelligence base needed for innovation will simply vanish into MTV-land.

8) Mock and belittle the family. Provide financial incentives to people willing to live an isolated existence, vulnerable and frightened. This guarantees that men and women of sufficient character to bring about innovation will be psychologically stifled from an early age.

9) Develop a suicidal immigration policy that keeps out educated, hardworking men and women from friendly nations and, instead, takes in vast numbers of angry, uneducated immigrants from nations that hate us. This, too, leads to the shrinking of our knowledge base and the eventual disappearance of social cohesion.

10) Enact a tax system that encourages class antagonism and punishes saving, while rewarding indebtedness, frivolity and consumption. Tax the fruits of labor many times:
 
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Old 12-13-2002, 01:38 PM
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In short, that almost sums it up. We're definately well on our way.

1, 2 and 9 are especially devistating.

Last edited by Baja Daze; 12-13-2002 at 02:28 PM.
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Old 12-13-2002, 02:12 PM
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Old 12-13-2002, 02:33 PM
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This society is based on what we see, hear and say on TV and thru the media. We hear that if we can't win the lottery by buying a ticket and taking a chance that we just pour coffee on ourselves and we instantly win. No one wants to work for money, they see and hear that if you do something really stupid we can sue for damages and win again. It is sad but true and we and our children will pay the price for Mortgaging our future. Now, where is that chainsaw that they said could be used as a toothbrush?
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Old 12-13-2002, 03:50 PM
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Or, the half full glass.

We should remember that for all our discord we yet remain the longest enduring society of free people governing themselves. Capitalism is the fuel that propels this experiment in self-government forward. After the collapse of communism in 1989, no practical person any longer talks of socialism. Today everyone talks of privatization!

Two of the principles this country is founded on are, free people and free markets. Adam Smith saw decentralized market-driven decisions (the invisible hand) not only as economically efficient, but also as a moral fortress against intrusions on our liberty. Back then they worried about “the crown.” Today we worry about the collectivist state! Still, that’s improvement!

Wisdom 200 years ago by John Adams stated that the state tends to turn every contingency into an excuse for enhancing itself. To check rampant collectivization, we can now point to empirical evidence in the failures of those societies that sought collective answers to very problem. More improvement!

The invisible hand is not always perfect and seldom comforting, but it beats the alternative. Rush hour and traffic jams are beautiful things. They prove the glass is still half full!
 
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Old 12-13-2002, 04:41 PM
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