When Government Debt Gets in the Way of the American Dream

We can’t allow the week to close without taking note of the spectacle in Wisconsin – seeing as it will hit all 50 state capitals tomorrow.

In case your eyes are about to glaze over, here’s a three-sentence update: The lower chamber of Wisconsin’s legislature passed Gov. Scott Walker’s emergency budget shortly after 1 AM today. It includes the provision that strips the government-employee unions of the collective-bargaining authority. Democratic senators remain camped outside the state, stalling the vote in that chamber.

In our overstuffed inbox this morning is a press release trumpeting “‘Save The American Dream’ Rallies to Take Place in All 50 State Capitals This Saturday” organized by MoveOn and similar groups.

Yes, because collective bargaining is the essence of the American Dream.

Protesters in Wisconsin

Oy. And you thought it couldn’t happen here?

“Participants will protest the attack on workers’ rights,” reads the press release, “and proposed dangerous budget cuts, and demand an investment in decent jobs.” Yes, because government checks and government “investment” in “decent jobs” is also the essence of the American Dream.

“Bring it on!” we say. If there ever were a worthy public discourse, this is it: Is the American Dream about self-determination and political freedom? Or… The “right” to a decent job, education, home, health care and retirement…and government debt…?

We suspect in the end it will all be a waste of time. Only one of these directions is within the government’s power to deliver, regardless of what your local representative says before you cast your ballot. But it will sure be fun to watch the carnage along the way, don’t you think?

More bread. More circuses. And down we go.

Addison Wiggin
for The Daily Reckoning

The Daily Reckoning