Saturday, November 8, 2014

The demise of tobacco

I grew up on a small farm in South Georgia (below the gnat line), and, like the fish kept in an aquarium, I had no comprehension of the economic/political system out there.

We grew tobacco, corn, cotton, a few peanuts, and a h-u-g-e garden. We also had a few livestock, primarily for family consumption.

I always understood, growing up, that we lived in a free country, a representative republic, with our economic system being a capitalistic one. As the Fonz would say, "I was w-r-r-r-o-n-g!"

This week, a Knoxville News-Sentinel article notes the end of tobacco subsidies, bringing to an end a portion of a multi-generational system that took money from one group and awarded it to another (at the point of a gun). Unfortunately, this fascism was so embedded in our system, that it seemed to me be the norm.


Well, you see, on the continuum of economic systems, there are only three (I heard this simple explanation from radio talk show host Neal Boortz) with variations among them:

  1. Socialism - the State owns and controls the means of production (everything).
  2. Fascism - the Private Sector owns the means of production, and the State controls it all.
  3. Capitalism - the Private Sector owns and controls the means of production.

So here are some thoughts on these systems.

  1. Socialism is always doomed to eventually fail. Without ownership of property, whether it be real estate or personal property, the incentive to work is diminished. "The State will take care of you."
  2. Fascism is like a creeping poison ivy vine, that eventually strangles the system with regulations. "You must get a permit before you do that. Its the Law!"
  3. Capitalism eventually wins (to a point), as we saw after the implosion of the Soviet Union, and as we see the Chicoms move from an absolutely socialist system towards capitalism, taking jobs from an over-regulated United States.
  4. Capitalism, without the restraint of Christianity, will degenerate to the Law of the Jungle, with employees being treated as just another raw material, used up and thrown out with yesterday's garbage.

Observing the world scene, it appears that nations are in a continual state of flux between these systems. Except for North Korea, pure Communism (Socialism on Steroids) is pretty much out.

And our home sweet home, the United States, ends tobacco subsidies, yet pours billions of taxpayer dollars into subsidies for bio-fuel and solar energy. Then they try to dupe people into paying extra for these boondoggles on their utility bills.

So, what's to do. Be vigilant, vote, and don't take a laissez-faire attitude towards politics. Like it or not, everything is politics.

And those who show up make the rules!

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