Today’s guest post is by W&T commenter Will.

In a warning given by President Benson, he quoted Edward Gibbon on what caused the fall of the Roman Empire. Here is what he said accounted for the fall:

  1. Higher and higher taxes and the spending of public monies for free bread and circuses for the populace.
  2. The undermining of the dignity and sanctity of the home, which is the basis of human society.
  3. The mad craze for pleasure, sports becoming every year more and more exciting and brutal.
  4. The building of gigantic armaments when the real enemy was within the decadence of the people.
  5. The decay of religion—faith fading into mere form, losing touch with life, and becoming impotent to warn and guide the people.

To me, this list is the liberal or progressive movement in this country. I acknowledge my conservative slant on his issue, but to me it is the fruits of liberalism. In my first of a five part series, let’s explore number one on the list:

1. Higher and higher taxes and the spending of public monies for free bread and circuses for the populace.

As the old adage says, “so goes California, so goes the Nation” the same was said for General Motors.  An example of Liberalism destroying the public and private sector as follows:

California

At one time, California was one of the most robust economies in the world. Its state GDP rivals the GDP of Italy or the UK. Its GDP is larger than Brazil, Spain, Russia, India, Canada, Mexico, South Korea or Australia. Its GDP is greater than the bottom 100 countries in the world combined.  It boasts some of the best companies in the world.  However, California is broke.  Flat broke.  It comes to us in a Golden Bear’s clothing, but is inwardly a bloated sow with her teats sucked dry.

In spite of all this production, the State is flat broke.  In spite of massive budget cuts over the past two years, it still faces a 19.1 Billion dollar deficit; and, an expected deficit of 80 Billion over the next five years. Why? It is a State controlled by liberals and their Unions. A State flooded with illegal immigrants, with liberals standing in the way of sane or reasonable measures to stop the bleeding. A liberal congress, who has the State’s power of the purse, spending of public monies for free bread and circuses for the populace.

The California of now – also known as the People’s Republic of California or The Socialist Republic of California – owes you and I, the Federal Taxpayer 8.6 Billion (expected to be 10.3 Billion by year end) just to cover unemployment claims, borrowing almost 40 million dollars a day just to keep up on unemployment claims according to the LA Times. Overall, it has racked up nearly 70 Billion in general obligation debt and 500 Billion in unfunded pension liabilities according to a recent Wall Street Journal article. Their solution: hire Jerry Brown again. They hired him not because he can solve their problems, but because he promises more free bread; or, at least he promises to those who elected him not to stop the gravy train which will most likely lead to higher and higher taxes. Prima fascia evidence marijuana, even for medical reasons, shouldn’t be legalized.

GM

GM was the largest company in the world. Not just the largest automaker, but the largest company in the world. Initially, it started out in 1908 as holding company, but through acquisition and genuine American ingenuity it became of the most powerful entities the world has ever known. It was consistently the largest company in the world from World War II to the turn of the century – every year it was number one on the list. In the 80’s and 90’s it had revenue of nearly $200 Billion. $200 Billion. GM produced more revenue than most countries’ total GDP. Saudi Arabia, for instance, had GDP of $188 Billion in 2000, while GM’s Gross Revenue was $178 Billion. Yep, GM’s revenue was almost as much as the total GDP of one of the largest oil producing nations in the World.

Then, GM stopped being an automaker. It became a health care and retirement company that did its best to cover the expenses of these companies by selling cars. Seeds of free bread it had sowed years earlier demanded by Unions. It paid people to work for 30 to 40 years and then paid them to retire with full health benefits for the next 25 to 30 years — a recipe for disaster. We know the rest of the story. It collapsed. It collapsed because of the liberally charged Unions and their unreasonable demands.

The Government took over GM, Obama Fired the CEO and put one of his cronies in charge, kept 61 percent for the US Government; gave 17.5 percent to the Unions who destroyed the company; gave 11.7 percent to the Canadian Government; and bond holders were left with a mere 9.8 percent.  All told, the bailout of GM could cost the taxpayers’ 100 Billion.

Summary

Will the same things that destroyed GM and California destroy America? Will the adage “go goes California (or GM), so goes the Nation” come to fruition?  Were the warnings of President Benson our prophetic destiny? Discuss.