Mandeville, LA – Exclusive Transcript – I’d rather be ruled by the idiots that ran the country in Idiocracy. They don’t know better. We might be able to educate them so that they can understand or so they can better comprehend things that ought to be very simple. I want to go over something else with you. Professor Kevin Gutzman is on the program with us here today. Check out today’s transcript for the rest….
Begin Mike Church Show Transcript
Mike: I would like to read something to you from your colleague and friend, Thomas E. Woods, writing at The Imaginative Conservative, although I think this is reposted from TomWoods.com or from Liberty Classroom, one of the two. This is from 1921. Let’s listen to this. Here is a solution to our current ills, according to Professor Woods, and then I’ll tell you who said this.
We must face the grim necessity, with full knowledge that the task is to be solved, and we must proceed with a full realization that no statute enacted by man can repeal the inexorable laws of nature. Our most dangerous tendency is to expect too much of government, and at the same time do for it too little. We contemplate the immediate task of putting our public household in order. We need a rigid and yet sane economy, combined with fiscal justice, and it must be attended by individual prudence and thrift, which are so essential to this trying hour and reassuring for the future….
The economic mechanism is intricate and its parts interdependent, and has suffered the shocks and jars incident to abnormal demands, credit inflations, and price upheavals. The normal balances have been impaired, the channels of distribution have been clogged, the relations of labor and management had been strained. We must seek the readjustment with care and courage…. All the penalties will not be light, nor evenly distributed. There is no way of making them so. There is no instant step from disorder to order. We must face a condition of grim reality, charge off our losses and start afresh. It is the oldest lesson of civilization. I would like government to do all it can to mitigate; then, in understanding, in mutuality of interest, in concern for the common good, our tasks will be solved. No altered system will work a miracle. Any wild experiment will only add to the confusion. Our best assurance lies in efficient administration of our proven system.
Mike: You probably read this, or you probably know who this is. This is President Warren Harding. This is his inaugural address. As Professor Woods points out: Can you imagine some Republican saying this today, calling for austerity and deflation and actual real deregulation? As Professor Woods points out, these horrid conditions came about as a result of what? You and he wrote a chapter in your great book Who Killed the Constitution? about this, about the war, World War I, the one that Wilson dragged us kicking and screaming in with a sedition act to compel men to go serve. What was Harding’s answer, professor? Harding’s answer was: Do the opposite of what caused this. What’s the lesson for today?
Kevin Gutzman: There was a time when there were people who were prominent in American politics who stood for freedom. Essentially, there was a time when the Republican Party — and it wasn’t only the Republican Party. In 1837, this is exactly the way the Democratic president, Martin Van Buren, responded to the so-called panic of that year. There was a time when people thought: Okay, well, we’ve got this difficulty and the reason is, again, there’s been disruption of the market system. Where did that come from? Usually that comes from government. Certainly when Harding was president the problem was government intervention associated with the Wilson administration and how to remedy that. Well, the way to remedy that is to give people their money back and allow them freely to go out and trade with each other. That’s what Van Buren did in 1837 as well.
Today we have nobody who advocates this. We have nobody prominent who’s making the argument for this and being heard on TV. Actually, there are a couple of people. Rand Paul, for example, if you heard his response to Obama last night. But in general, if you make the mistake of fastening yourself to the mainstream media, what you’re going to hear are a lot of people saying: Well, finally President Obama’s fabulous policies have led to “strong economic growth.” There must be either the supposition that everybody listening is a Gruber voter who’s completely ignorant of economics — by the way, for listeners who don’t recognize the reference I’m making, Professor Gruber of MIT explained on repeated occasions recently disclosed in the media that the explanation given by President Obama of Obamacare was calculated to cater to “the stupidity of the American voter.” Of course, we have to translate this as the stupidity of the Democratic voter since clearly the Obamacare pitch was not keyed to Republican voters. No Republicans in Congress voted for Obamacare.
We now have it from good authority, somebody who’s been paid by five state governments and the federal government to go out and sell Obamacare, that is to say the Democratic administrations of five state governments and the federal government that the way they sell these things to their Democratic electorate is by calculating that the Democrats are so stupid they will believe the total, I guess we can say baloney, that you can have your cake and eat it, too. These same people are the ones that are being told last night in the State of the Union message, having various media figures’ commentary — I saw PBS and later Charlie Rose. I think I was over on ABC for a while. Everybody was saying: These are the results of President Obama’s policies. Which of President Obama’s policies exactly were they that have apparently finally got the economy coming out of the 2008 recession?
People should note that a typical recession in American history is about two years long. What is it that President Obama did that now seven years later has perhaps got the United States coming out of recession? Of course, the answer is nothing. There’s nothing he’s done that would have cause the economy to improve. The only thing that’s caused the economy to improve from the federal government is that the Congress has refused, over the last two years, to adopt any more of his policies. Actually, you had the much decried sequester, which was actual reduction in the future spending in the federal government, which seems, of course, much ballyhooed as the horrible Republican infliction upon the rest of us. That seems to me to be the only significant thing that’s happened that moved our economy away from the same kind of intervention that had brought it into the recession in the first place. Of course, again, the media told us that was a terrible thing and we should only have stuck with President Obama’s policy of further expansion of the money supply, further borrowing, further spending on worthless federal programs, like Cash for Clunkers and Solyndra subsidies and eventually we would have all been better off.
It did capture the whole phenomenon last night, the speech and the media coverage, did capture what’s wrong with the American political system. I think it was a perfect summary of the fact that most Americans are ignorant of economics. That’s true of elite people in the media. If the elite people in the media aren’t painfully ignorant of economics —
Mike: They are. Trust me, I work with these people, Kevin. Trust me, they are.
Gutzman: While I think that’s true, it’s always possible that these people actually are like Professor Gruber and they are completely dishonest demagogues who lie to the public nonstop because they know that Democratic voters are, to use Professor Gruber’s word — again, he was paid by the Obama administration to formulate Obamacare and then to sell it — that Democratic voters are, in Gruber’s words, stupid. Actually, you and I have talked about the question on this show before. Is it that Democrats are stupid, or are they just lying? Now, thanks to Professor Gruber, we know some of them aren’t so stupid. That’s actually kind of a relief. If you have a choice between being ruled by mendacious people who aren’t quite so stupid or by stupid people who are really just totally at sea, you kind of hope for a little bit of a mix, I think. Now we know we’ve had a mix. We’ve had the Senate and the executive branch controlled by some people who are just stupid and some people who were just liars. The stupid people are being manipulated by the liars to some extent.
Mike: I’d rather be ruled by the idiots that ran the country in Idiocracy. They don’t know better. We might be able to educate them so that they can understand or so they can better comprehend things that ought to be very simple. I want to go over something else with you. Professor Kevin Gutzman is on the program with us here today. Actually, I have a nice little list here of things I’d like to discuss. Number one is, I pointed this out to the audience in the first hour. So President Jefferson submits his State of the Union address, as the Constitution required him, in writing to the Congress 8 December 1801. He sends it over. As I revealed to you, if you run it through the Flesch-Kincaid analyzer, you’ll find out that it takes 17.4 years of formal education to understand TJ’s address.
What does that tell us about the education of a statesman in the 18th and 19th century? There was no public school, professor. There was no compulsory education. These men were either A, self-educated, or B, were educated by parents in what we would call homeschooling today. Or if they were wealthy they may have had tutors. Or if they were wealthy, beyond the tutors they may have, as I said earlier, been sent off to Princeton University or whatever they called Princeton in the day to go study under the auspices of the Reverend John Witherspoon. What does this say about 18th and 19th century statesmen and their intelligence level? No wonder we can’t comply with their Constitution. We can’t even understand it. Your comment?
Gutzman: Of course, you and I have recognized, we have commiserated over this phenomenon of people being completely oblivious to the Constitution. Here we have a constitution that was written by people who, as you say, were very well educated. Over time, what’s happened is that for various reasons, those people have decided to extend the suffrage to greater and greater shares of the population. Of course, what happened, predictably, as a result was that the Gruber electorate was added to the original electorate. Now instead of having these addresses — actually, I encourage anybody to Google Thomas Jefferson’s State of the Union address from December 1801. Instead of having that, which is completely serious, treats the people who are reading it and having it read to them by the clerk in the Congress as fellow republican citizens with whom one could have a serious conversation, instead of that we get what we had last night, which were entire paragraphs from Obama of: I love the country and the average people, your typical worker, blah, blah, blah.
Mike: Pizza guys.
Gutzman: Well, I’m leaving aside the pizza guy stuff. That was specific. Of course it was inappropriate but it was specific. There are entire paragraphs of Obama’s speech last night that just meant nothing. They really were from Idiocracy. They were just: I love apple pie. Don’t you love apple pie? We’re all for apple pie. Then he takes a break while they all stand up and applaud apple pie. That is what we have instead of Jefferson. It’s not a surprise that we end up with the kind of completely maladapted economic and foreign policy we have today.
End Mike Church Show Transcript