In this series, I hope to make an iuntellectual case for why this Nation can't just change political leadership flavors and revert to better, more Constitutional times.
The basic reason is that those leaders who have taken us down the leftward path have carefully planned it to be a path of no return. They did this in the simplest way possible, they bought off two generations (since WW2) with welfare of many kinds, and that welfare has become an integral part of of the fabric of this society. Individuals don't count anymore. Individual effort doesn't count anymore.
Even the "government shutdown", which was supposed to kick us in the ass to the tune of $24B, won't, and that's all because the welfare state runs on forever, without the need of it's attendants. Two-thirds of government spending is in the run-forever Entitlement class, and supposedly can't be cut.
This post is generally about the irreversible Leftward march of America, and particularly about the role of High Finance in this change.
The High Finance roles is devided into two factors, Corporate Welfare and Federal Regulation. Although these two evils share some facets, they were introduced separately, so I will treat them separately.
Some history of Corporate Welfare. It's been around forever in at least ONE form: when the Government needed to make expanding the USA it's goal in the nineteenth centruy and beyond, it gave charters to US capitalists to do the fiscal heavy lifting. It did NOT tax it's way into expanding the USA from sea to shining sea. Instead, it gave away a valuable commodity of which it had a great surplus: land. When railroads were needed, the Government simply gave away the land on which to build the lines and facilities, and "threw in" some extra land upon which to build towns, site farms, etc, all to be served by the railroads. No highways, because there was no motorized highway transport just yet. The Federal Government did the same thing when it wanted to sponsor higher education: it gave away land for Universities, which are still known today as "land grant colleges". These land giveaways were the first uses of Corporate Welfare, and if it had ended there, we'd be okay, but it didn't.
With the success of land-granting, the Feds saw that they could influence the direction and advancement of industry also, and so the Military-Industrial Complex was born. After Admiral Thayer McMahon wrote his great book about the role of a modern Navy in Manifest Destiny, we built a modern Navy to rule the seas where Britain's Royal Navy wasn't already ruling. The companies which built that Navy, built the armaments for the ships, built the naval facilities, all largely exist today, doing the same job. Bath Iron Works in Maine is an example. It's parent company, General Dynamics, is a modern holding company which builds military equipment of all sorts for all of the military's subdivisions.
The Military-Industrial Complex was only the start for Corporate Welfare though, and like a fungus, this pernicious form of sloth invaded corporate boardrooms everywhere. There is virtually NO section of American industry which is not affected by corporate welfare. The recent surge of promoting all things "green", a Faustian bargain of actually saving the planet in the regard of Conservation, while pretending to save it in the regard of Global Warming, is the best current example of Corporate Welfare, and it's also a good example of Federal Regulation, the next topic I will address in this post.
Federal Regulation is the other half of the high-finance path the Left has taken to weaken the idea of an America by and for individuals.
With the expansion of Government has come the expansion of Federal regulation. It's a peas-in-a-pod relationship. As the Government expands, both in size and roles, it requires more defined control to cement it's leadership and power projection. More regulation is written, regulation begets power, and more power means more regulation. The Founders could NOT have imagined the growth of Government that has taken place, but there ARE hints that they meant the Federal Government to have a much smaller role, and the State governments to have a larger role, because those Founders knew that State governments would be closer to the people than the Federal government, and therefore more democratic.
It hasn't worked out that way, though. The Federal government assumes it is the big dog on the block, even when there is nothing in the Constitution to say that it should be. A good example is the Federal Reserve Bank, which was originated to supposedly guard the US currency, but has morphed from that role into the role of a Mark One, Mod Zero socialist-nation Central Bank, controlling all commercial banks as well as the Federal currency. The Federal Reserve Bank, shortened here to The Fed, has, at the direction of it's leftist leaders in the Executive Branch, declared that it's okay for the USA to be insolvent, to keep printing fiat money with nothing behind it but smoke and mirrors. This sham policy even has an official-sounding name, "quantitative easing". QE allows the Government to spend money it doesn't have, to support policy it shouldn't have, i.e. buying votes via entitlements wrapped in the false flag of "social safety net", but more accurately called by a simpler word, "welfare". Under the Left's version of welfare, no one need work to improve their lives anymore, they are guaranteed a middle-class lifestyle by the government removing money from those who have it, supposedly in surplus.
The Capitalist institutions such as the Equities Exchanges are not immune to this welfare idea either, as they have decided that any and all investors should not have to assume risk when capitalizing business and industry through stock offerings. Here's how that works: an investor buys shares of stock (frequently not paying the full cost, but putting part of the purchase on credit),. There's always risk in buying equity shares. A company might be badly managed, might suffer some sort of catastrophic loss, etc, etc. Since part of the cost of those shares is borne by lending institutions, those institutions have created a system of "laying off" (yes, that's a betting term) their risk by offering insurance in the form of "derivatives". What these derivatives do is pay money if the share of stock goes down or up, so the investor is covered either way, and bears little risk, only the cost of the derivatives themselves, upon which the banking institution makes money (hand over fist). Because there is no risk, there is little incentive for the investor to actually insist that the company perform, and many don't. Under-performing companies are shielded from their incompetence by another class of derivatives called Exchange Traded Funds ("ETFs" or "Spiders"), in which each company's shares are but a fraction of the whole fund, so one or even several under-performing companies won't bring down the whole fund.
The overall effect of Federal Regulations is that the entire investment climate is smothered by them to such a degree that smokescreens like ETFs are required so money can actually move around in the investment systems. Without the regulations, there would be some hanky-panky, but the stock markets always had ways of internally controlling bad investment schemes. Now the Government pretends to have that role, bad investment schemes have skyrocketed to the point where the average investor cannot do his own research and put his own money into a stock equity without the help of expensive investment advice, and what you are paying for when you buy that advice is NOT how to make more money with your money, it's how to stay out of the clutches of the Federal government and it's infernal Regulation.
This is a long post, so let's summarize it.
Looking at the idea of how to get burdensome Government off the backs of the VERY few individuals left who care about their individuality as citizens, we find that the Federal Government has grown into a giant conglomerate ruling many aspects of our individual lives, and it had done so under the control of both parties in our two-party system, although the worst excesses can be traced to the Left. Corporate welfare has inserted the Federal government into almost every national corporation's business activity, and Federal regulation has forever changed the use of money, or creation of wealth, in the Nation.
This Nation became strong on the ideas and backs of individuals who worked far harder than they had to, but now the entire concept of working hard for a goal is considered evil, or at least unnecessary. Enterprise, once considered to be ONLY what an individual did to improve their lot in life, now means ONLY how well a person does by using someone else's resources to improve their lot in life.
So, to begin to answer my original question, "Can the Nation revert to it's original formula: individual effort by everyone brings benefits to all?", or is the individual aspect of citizenship so far in our past as to be not retrieveable?
It's not looking good for individual effort by and for the individual, but let's keep after this quest anyway.