But the primary reason today's liberal Democratic coalition will fade is because the very policies it pushes sow the seeds of its own destruction. The coalition can survive over time only by allocating slices of our nation's economic pie in a way that favors and placates its constituent members. But people, being human, will continually want larger slices of our economic resources, so continued success in placating those members, while at the same time adding the necessary new members, requires a continuing and ever-growing economy. A flat or shrinking economy will never generate the resources needed to feed the coalition.DuPont goes on to say that as a result of those policies the liberal coalition will ultimately collapse because the policies will not be able to produce the wealth needed to sustain it.
Yet the White House and congressional Democrats are working to stifle economic growth. From their views on taxes and redistribution, to their policies on energy and regulation, liberal Democrats are standing in the way of the strong economy their coalition needs.
Maybe so, but that's not been the lesson much of history teaches. History tells us that what often happens is that the demands imposed by a burgeoning class of "takers" upon the shrinking class of producers cause the whole system to rot from within and ultimately collapse before the governing class takes the measures needed to prevent it. Victor Davis Hanson wrote about this very phenomenon recently. After citing examples from the ancient world Hanson turns to our modern era:
After the end of World War II, most of today's powerhouses were either in ruins or still preindustrial -- China, France, Germany, Japan, South Korea, Russia and Taiwan. Only the United States and Great Britain had sophisticated economies that survived the destruction of the war. Both were poised to resupply a devastated world with new ships, cars, machinery and communications.And I need not mention, of course, that wealth redistribution is President Obama's Holy Grail.
In comparison to Frankfurt, the factories of 1945 Liverpool had survived mostly intact. Yet Britain missed out on the postwar German economic miracles, in part because after the deprivations of the war, the war-weary British turned to class warfare and nationalized their main industries, which soon became uncompetitive. The gradual decline of a society is often a self-induced process of trying to meet ever-expanding appetites, rather than a physical inability to produce past levels of food and fuel, or to maintain adequate defense. Americans have never had safer workplaces or more sophisticated medical care -- and never have so many been on disability.
Given our unsustainable national debt -- nearly $17 trillion and climbing -- America is said to be in decline, although we face no devastating plague, nuclear holocaust, or shortage of oil or food.
Americans have never led such affluent material lives -- at least as measured by access to cell phones, big-screen TVs, cheap jet travel and fast food. Obesity rather than malnutrition is the greater threat to national health. Flash mobs go after electronics stores, not food markets. Americans spend more money on Botox, face lifts and tummy tucks than on the age-old scourges of polio, small pox and malaria. If Martians looked at the small box houses, one-car families and primitive consumer goods of the 1950s, they would have thought the postwar United States, despite a balanced budget in 1956, was impoverished. In comparison, an indebted contemporary America would seem to aliens flush with cash, as consumers jostle for each new update to their iPhones.
By any historical marker, the future of Americans has never been brighter. The United States has it all: undreamed new finds of natural gas and oil, the world's pre-eminent food production, continual technological wizardly, strong demographic growth, a superb military and constitutional stability.
Yet we don't talk confidently about capitalizing and expanding on our natural and inherited wealth. Instead, Americans bicker over entitlement spoils as the nation continues to pile up trillion-dollar-plus deficits. Enforced equality rather than liberty is the new national creed. The medicine of cutting back on government goodies seems far worse than the disease of borrowing trillions from the unborn to pay for them.
In August 1945, Hiroshima was in shambles, while Detroit was among the most innovative and wealthiest cities in the world. Contemporary Hiroshima now resembles a prosperous Detroit of 1945; parts of Detroit look like they were bombed decades ago.
History has shown that a government's redistribution of shrinking wealth, in preference to a private sector's creation of new sources of it, can prove more destructive than even the most deadly enemy.