Saturday, April 21, 2012

No, We're Losing Faith in the Left

National Journal has a very neat story out about how Americans are "losing faith" in what cold generally called the American Dream. I am just old enough to remember the 1970s .... so from a thematic point of view, I've seen this movie before - but like many remakes, this one is different. In broad strokes, the funk we were in during the 1970s was caused by external issues; the Soviet Union at its high-water mark, oil shock, post-Vietnam War navel picking. The funk now is derived by largely internal internal issues; debt and dysfunction. It is interesting the filters people and organization see things through. Check out NJ's take.
... a nation whose motto could be, “In Nothing We Trust.” Seven in 10 Americans believe that the country is on the wrong track; eight in 10 are dissatisfied with the way the nation is being governed.
Only 23 percent have confidence in banks, and just 19 percent have confidence in big business. Less than half the population expresses “a great deal” of confidence in the public-school system or organized religion. “We have lost our gods,” says Laura Hansen, an assistant professor of sociology at Western New England University in Springfield, Mass. “We lost [faith] in the media: Remember Walter Cronkite? We lost it in our culture: You can’t point to a movie star who might inspire us, because we know too much about them. We lost it in politics, because we know too much about politicians’ lives. We’ve lost it—that basic sense of trust and confidence—in everything.”
Mainline churches are losing relevancy and worshippers because they have failed to adapt to the changing needs of their communities. From 1981 to 2011, High Street’s membership dropped 52 percent to 700. The average Sunday attendance declined 27 percent to 379.
Maranda Whitehead remembers fondly her son Jordan’s first days at the neighborhood public school. He was “excited, happy, thrilled to go to kindergarten,” she says. It was downhill from there. Teachers could barely keep track of the students in their crowded classrooms; they had no money to keep up with modern trends in technology or education; they didn’t form relationships with parents, not even Whitehead and others who wanted to get involved; and after the early grades, they taught a rote style focused on the state’s compulsory tests. “Every year,” Whitehead says of Jordan, “the light got dimmer and dimmer, and finally he hated school.” His joy of learning didn’t return until she enrolled him in the sixth grade at Hoosier Academy, one of many charter schools that have sprung up across Indiana to provide an alternative. It’s a national trend: Parents are fed up with traditional public schools because they are failing to adapt—or failing outright.
He and his wife are still unemployed. He is no longer eligible for the federal mortgage-relief program. He is bankrupt. His credit is destroyed. And he’s living in a trailer, with no expectation of rejoining the middle class. He has been buffeted, again and again, by forces that never had his interests at heart. As he strolls out of City Hall and makes plans to cut the grass at 1900 W. 10th St., this man from Middletown still has little reason to believe in the system that took so much from him.
Well ... let's all grab the straight razor and look for a warm tub ... but wait. 

Let's look at the graphic they used on the right. What do I see? Well - I'll tell you what my filter sees. People have finally seen that a century of leftist theory from TR's Progressives and Wilson's big government fetish
to the New-New Left and their Obama orgy of spending have failed.

Military and police have remained roughly the same along with big business, within the margin of error in spite of all the bad press both get. Criminal justice strongly up. Church and religion? Up strong as well.

You know that "horrible" US medical system and those grim reapers in the HMOs .... up strong. 

Look at the above ... things the Left have been ranting about since I was old enough to start paying attention.

What are the things the Left puts their trust in? Big activist government, mainstream media, big labor. Those are all in the red. The only thing the Left loves - public schools (for everyone except their kids) - isn't really that far down either - almost within margin of error.

There is no crisis in this nation - this nation is just loosing faith in the false promise a century of Leftists have told them.

This is great news - when you lose faith in the nanny-state and those who want to tell you what to think, what is the only option? Liberty and individualism.

Is this an indication of a long term shift? Who knows .... but I like it. Have hope ... if anything trends towards liberty and individualism then that will build a move back in the direction you need to go ... it will just take a long time to move things.

Case in point is the once Golden State - the place for a long time the has been a living experiment on what happens when the Left in the US is allowed to run wild.
...the Golden State's fastest-growing entity is government and its biggest product is red tape. The first thing that comes to many American minds when you mention California isn't Hollywood or tanned girls on a beach, but Greece. Many progressives in California take that as a compliment since Greeks are ostensibly happier. But as Mr. Kotkin notes, Californians are increasingly pursuing happiness elsewhere. Nearly four million more people have left the Golden State in the last two decades than have come from other states. This is a sharp reversal from the 1980s, when 100,000 more Americans were settling in California each year than were leaving. According to Mr. Kotkin, most of those leaving are between the ages of 5 and 14 or 34 to 45. In other words, young families. ... California is turning into a two-and-a-half-class society. On top are the "entrenched incumbents" who inherited their wealth or came to California early and made their money. Then there's a shrunken middle class of public employees and, miles below, a permanent welfare class. As it stands today, about 40% of Californians don't pay any income tax and a quarter are on Medicaid. It's "a very scary political dynamic," he says. "One day somebody's going to put on the ballot, let's take every penny over $100,000 a year, and you'll get it through because there's no real restraint. What you've done by exempting people from paying taxes is that they feel no responsibility. That's certainly a big part of it. And the welfare recipients, he emphasizes, "aren't leaving. Why would they? They get much better benefits in California or New York than if they go to Texas. In Texas the expectation is that people work." ... As progressive policies drive out moderate and conservative members of the middle class, California's politics become even more left-wing. It's a classic case of natural selection, and increasingly the only ones fit to survive in California are the very rich and those who rely on government spending. In a nutshell, "the state is run for the very rich, the very poor, and the public employees."
That is not a sustainable system - and it will crash. The smart ones have left and are leaving - the rest of the nation will be able to watch and learn. It won't be pretty or easy - but tough lessons rarely aren't.

National Journal folks - glass is half full; have a drink!

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