The red light flickered in our Mars City Universe Broadcasting Studio: Kathryn signaled she was ready in her Omaha Nebraska Studio. I pushed the polyphone button. “Hello Kathryn, do you see and hear us clear?”
“Hi Mars, fine and beautiful,” she said, cheerfully.
“OK, let’s get started. You are on at Mars TV.”
“Dear viewers on Mars and Earth,” Kathryn began, “You are connected with our Round Table show on Earth “How the World Turns”. With me from my right are: Fred Garfinkel, Tony Blanket, Charles Hammerschmidt and Bob Foolsman.”
“And you, welcome to our Mars show “Mother Earth’s Weekly Squirms”, I responded. “With me from my right are our distinguished panel Pasha, Elmer, Huda, Tamil, and Shamus. We thought it fun to have a combined Earth and Mars panel after the USA mid-term elections and the subsequent fall out. Kathryn, why don’t you go ahead. We’ll chime in from time to time.”
“Thank you Mars! Let’s see…Bob, you may want to speak first. You must feel shellacked after the overwhelming defeat of the Democrats. For our friends on Mars, shellacked means a knockout. That’s what Barack Obama called it, he should know.”
“Granted, there was a swing to the right,” Bob Foolsman admitted, “but these swings in favor of the opposition often happen in mid-term elections. It doesn’t mean much, they didn’t get the Senate. It doesn’t hand power to the Republican Party. Obama can continue his truthful ideology governing by executive order. He doesn’t need Congress to pursue his agenda.
“Isn’t that the same as what dictators do?” asked Huda.
“We have different views on democracy than you on Mars,” Bob retorted. “Our side of the aisle knows what is good for the world, while the other side doesn’t. It’s our moral duty to apply that. Our Constitution provides for that.”
“Bunk!” Fred Garfinkel cried out. “I haven’t heard bigger rubbish before. If that’s your party’s thinking, your master will be thrown out of the pew hand and fist come 2012!”
“He doesn’t go to church, Fred,” Bob clarified. “Meanwhile, with his agenda to transform America completed in two years, he won’t need a second term and the right wing will never have the votes to repeal anything after that.”
“Wouldn’t your side have to compromise now that you are in the minority?” Elmer asked.
“We have offered compromises since we took over the Republican mess in 2009,” Bob continued undisturbed, “but the other side wasn’t listening, as it was drinking slurpee all the time.”
“Slurpee is a popular convenience store soft drink here on Earth,” Kathryn explained. “Tony, what are your expectations?”
“I agree with Bob, this President is drenched in an ideology of pure socialism he won’t or can’t change just because most of the electorate rejected it. The Republican majority in the house is going to be a paper tiger because the President will veto anything that repeals his policies, that is, if their bills get past the Senate, which is still in the Democrats’ hands. For the rest I fear he will indeed use executive orders, drafted by his conglomerate of leftist Czars, to pursue his faulty objectives.”
“Your economy is not improving,” Shamus interjected, “your unemployment remains high and your Central Bank is amplifying the money market lowering the dollar and risking inflation. Other countries such as Germany, the UK and France are protesting because it’s affecting their exports, destabilizes the financial markets, and increases the cost of commodities, especially oil, while their Euro is in tatters. This doesn’t sound good economic policy to us.”
“What would you do on Mars in a situation like that?” Kathryn asked.
“Don’t mess with the economic laws,” Shamus answered. “I’ve said that before. It’s bound to hurt you. Your President said the other day that there wasn’t enough progress yet because the economy wasn’t doing what he told it to do. As if he’s never heard of Economics 101. Give him a copy of Paul Samuelsson’s Economics for Christmas.”
“And that includes messing with the tax rate,” Charles Hammerschmidt joined in. “Nobody wants additional taxes sucking the juice out of his or her Thanksgiving turkey or Christmas goose. As long as entrepreneurs are deprived of any certainty they can make a buck over the next five years, they’re not going to risk their money, just to give it to Uncle Obama to spread the wealth around. So unemployment will stay high.”
“All that’s of no consequence,” Bob Foolsman came back. “State intervention will grow rapidly to manage resources and increase dependency. Workers will work for the State, as has already started in the auto industry. The auto union workers are the big winners in General Motor’s recovery and that won’t go unnoticed. Bill Clinton once said that the era of big government was over, then he and Republicans proceeded to do just the opposite, and President Obama will push this further because he knows what he’s doing and the populace will be so grateful to him when he succeeds. The era of big government is just beginning. Government will take possession of the means of production.”
“That’s a preposterous point of view, “Fred Garfinkel said loudly. “A government is not like an investor, who risks his own money to make a return, but a public entity that uses taxpayer money, which isn’t theirs. If a government enterprise loses money, which they always do as has been proved worldwide, the taxpayer pays. If by chance the enterprise makes money or breaks even, the government doesn’t reinvest the revenue but spends it on ill-suited entitlement programs, such as unemployment benefits for the workers in the other losing state enterprises that weren’t to be anyway. Soon everything will look grey and dirty as everybody goes broke. Remember Eastern Europe?”
“The State has to look out for the little guy,” Bob sputtered.
“Two to one of your little guys reject Obamacare,” Fred noted coolly.
“As Obama said, that also means that one out of two is for it,” Bob deadpanned back.
“I can’t escape the impression that Earth is heading for very difficult times,” I said. “Europe has its PIGS that are crying for bail-outs, China is playing cat and mouse with keeping its currency artificially low while buying up US Treasuries to gain increasing power over your head, and the USA is heading for economic collapse because its public debt will soon be larger than what it produces.”
“The next two years are going to be crucial,” Charles said. “Either the side that wants smaller government, less taxes and strong defense manages to cut spending, reduce debt and restore confidence of the private sector, or the other side that wants big government and central control manages to maintain the current course of action and takes the country down the cliff. To me, it’s obvious that the latter leads to loss of freedom and our way of life. The battle will be fought till the election of a new President. If the current administration is re-elected, you can say goodbye to the USA as we know it.”
“And that includes your Thanksgiving turkey and Christmas goose,” Fred said, sarcasm dripping off his face.
“Didn’t Adam Smith say that admiring and worshiping the rich and powerful is the most universal cause of corruption of our moral sentiments?” Bob put forward. “When everyone earns the same, our communal life will be happier and deprived of jealousy and greed.”
“That’s not all what your Adam Smith stood for, ” Tamil said. “As I understand it, he proffered individual freedom to pursue personal interest and private people working cooperatively together to achieve the wealth of nations, whereby the government would be discharged from interference. He warned against government supported monopolies that create the type of bubbles that ruined your financial system.”
“Indeed, Tamil,” Tony Blanket said. “You’re so right! Adam Smith warned against the dangers of big government and crony capitalism and advocated the need to rein in both. He supported human liberty and free markets to move the world forward, and is probably turning in his grave seeing what’s happening here today. Wrong point, Bob.”
“We on Mars can’t see much agreement between Earth’s left and right,” Pasha said. “Both sides seem incapable to meet each other half way. Half a goose is better than no goose at all. Maybe Michelle Obama should invite both sides to eat from her vegetable garden.”
“That would lead to instant and painful indigestion,” Charles said with a cramped face. “Even Obama does not eat from that.”
“Personally, I don’t want to lose my Omaha steak,” Kathryn said. “With Obama’s fiscal mismanagement and the Central Bank’s risky money management, I’m afraid that steak will cost me 100 dollars per pound in a few years. In my assessment, the electorate said no to an overbearing government and its suffocating grip on an innovative society that knows full well how to take care of itself.”
“That so-called innovative society of yours wouldn’t have achieved a stimulus package that saved the economy, a national health care law that brought in 30 million new uninsured and a financial reform package that put our ruined financial system straight,” Bob said, “and all that in eighteen months.”
“Those are doomed policies and you know it,” Fred said, swaying his arm, “and they were only possible because in 2008 the pendulum swung too far to the left. “
“Right,” Tony said. “Obama operated in a virtual dictatorship with the Democrat absolute majority led by that catty Pelosi and slimy hypocrite Reid. It’ll all be repealed in the next round of conservative rule. Look at Europe, they are all coming back from it after learning their bitter lessons, and here the socialist liberal progressives are bent to ignore that at their own peril.”
“Can you explain for our Mars viewers what these terms mean?” Huda asked.
“In the USA, it all means the same, you can interchange each term,” Tony explained, smiling. “Contrary to what a liberal meant in old Europe, a defender of freedom, capitalism, and fair trade, the term evolved into a new social liberalism advocating a greater role of the State. Today, a liberal is a socialist here. Progressive is a term to hide its true meaning, which is still your same friendly statist socialist but like a sheep in wolf’s clothes. So throwing them all together in one basket puts them in the right light, pun not intended.”
“And so are conservatives, neocons, reactionaries and right wingers, all in the same boat,” Bob Foolsman parotted.
“The difference is that left wingers always call people names when they disagree with them,“ Charles said. “Conservatives are intolerant bigots, racists, phonies, Nazis, Talibans running a Christian jihad, yokels, morons, peanut heads, and monkey brains. That just shows you how intolerant socialists are. I’d lump the left wingers all into one category and that’s blockheads, because they can’t think logically.”
“It sounds as if civil war is on the horizon,” Elmer said, “something we can’t figure here on Mars. If the current American administration will continue to ram their socialist policies past the throats of unwilling conservatives, as they did with your health care bill, they will turn your tea party movement into a mob of pitch forks and torches rising to do battle and their scorn will be felt all over Earth.”
“It’s been an interesting discussion but without much conclusion,” I said, looking at my watch, “you seem bitterly divided on Earth with hot spots all over the place. I wish we could bring you our peace from Mars, but you’d probably call that an alien invasion and send missiles into space.”
“Yes, Mars Man, I agree,” Kathryn said, “and a diligent way to end. A few seconds left. By the way, Mars, next time when you leave from here, check your engines, because the whole USA was worrying what flying object was taking off over the California coast, heading up, leaving a thick plume of dark dirty smoke behind. Everybody was talking of a misfiring UFO, and agitated bearded Californian environmentalists protested at the Governor’s house.”
“Apologies, Earth. Bob Falkland in Nebraska must have given me a bad lot of cheap government controlled ethanol. Blame him. To our viewers on Earth and Mars, thank you for watching and make sure to come back next time. Good bye Kathryn.”
“Good bye Mars, till soon,” Kathryn waved. “Don’t forget to bring some old Martian rum with you when you come down again.”
Our popular show “Mother Earth’s Weekly Squirms” was on to discuss the results of the USA 2010 mid-term elections.
“No surprises in the USA,” I said, opening the talks. “It was in the cards for many months. Overwhelming Republican majority in the House and strong Republican gains in the Senate. The Pied Piper got a good thumping. He says he was not on the ballot but he clearly was. It’s the first time in a long time that mid-term local elections became national indeed. The electorate rejected socialism. Shamus, tell us, was it what they call the economy stupid that broke the back of the President and his obstinate Democrats?”
“No, it was the stupid economy,” Shamus said coolly. “Because it does not do what the politicians want.”
“But don’t politicians know that?” I asked. “After all, they’re supposedly intelligent people, no?” Shamus put on a learned face. “They try whatever they can to circumvent the economic laws promising heaven and manna to keep their seat. Especially the House with its two-year cycle. When it’s not working they blame the other party or Bush.”
“I thought economics was a social science, not a manipulative device,” Pasha said.
“That’s what the socialist’s ideology wants it to be, a manipulative device,“ Elmer said, agitated. “They disregard the fact that economics responds to a system of unwritten laws. When lawmakers ignore them, they do so at their own peril and everybody else’s when the dirt hits the fan, and it did so majestically this time.”
“It’s a science all right,” Shamus pointed out, turning to Pasha, “but not like a predictable chemical formula where you know that if you mix liquids, they explode. Politicians mix their laws with your tax money, saying you would be better off if you let them do that. First, you don’t notice, but when you look in your wallet a year after you wonder why it’s empty.”
“But, Shamus, can you tell our viewers about these invisible laws?” I asked.
“Well, to simplify,” Shamus said, “Suppose I am manufacturing cars. Demand is good and I sell a lot of them. Other carmakers do too and we employ more people to manufacture more. People make good money and buy more stuff. Everybody’s happy. Then Mr. Obama wants money for his social programs, and his political majority enforces higher corporate taxes on cars to pay for them. Suddenly I can’t sell my customers my cars any more at the price they could afford, I am loaded with inventory, make losses, can’t pay the high salaries and have to lay-off workers. Then the workers go on strike and I am forced out of business. That’s the economic laws that are at play, works like gravity. But because that’s bad politics, the politicians compound their mistake of raising taxes, and use tax payer money or borrowed money from China or both to buy off my debts to keep me afloat and the workers on the job. To pay for that they must raise taxes even more and the Central Bank must print money. Then the US dollar declines in value and makes imports more expensive in the shops, people buy less, and slowly they go down the drain in the rest of the world. Double whammy as they say in the USA. The original mistake was to raise taxes to pay for programs that are not needed or they can ill afford. You have to live within your national means, not your political dreams.”
“Simply put, a stone does not fall zig-zag in physics but in politics it does,” Elmer chuckled.
“But don’t all parties on Earth do that?” Huda asked.
“Some more than others, but socialists in particular,” Tamil said. “The more they give people the more people depend on them and when the next government has to take that away to clean up, the people get mad. Look at France. Till the whole place is in such a mess that only draconian austerity can drag you out of the hole. Look at Britain.”
“But I read over the wire that even some reputable economists support these spending policies,” Pasha wondered. “Don’t the economic laws apply to them?”
“Some economists are socialist economists,” Shamus said. “for them capitalism is the culprit. They base their assumptions on ideology and skew their assumptions in such a way that the outcomes seem right. But their assumptions are artificial. They lack a mathematical base. Socialist ideologues make everyone poor because they kill the human urge that wants more. With them, life gets pretty drab, except for those in power. But not all is right with the capitalist economists either. Capitalism gives incentives to the risk takers to invent, produce and make money, but then everyone goes for the same buck, the economy overheats, and the balloon bursts. They call that the business cycle. Humans are imperfect and so are their markets.
“A good governor with a good team knows how to manage these ups and downs,”I said. “Socialists want to get rid of the business cycle all together but throw the baby away with the bath water.”
“So, if the business cycle bursts at the same time as elections are held, as it did in 2008,” Pasha concluded, “the populace swings to the socialists for correction and when they wake up seeing the bad results, they swing to the capitalists again.”
“Exactly,” Shamus said, nodding approvingly like a university professor.
“Has anyone any views on what happens now?” I asked.
“There’s no major change in government like in Britain or Sweden and Holland that turned right,” Elmer said, “Obama is still president and his Czars in the White House are still penning socialist policies and regulations. The main change is that his ambitious spending programs will be arrested. We will see what happens in 2012.”
“Stopping spending is the first thing the new majority must do,” Shamus said. “Confidence will return and bring people back to work and the economy will pick up again. Taxes must be kept low for at least the next five years and Obamacare must be repealed, so that businesses can plan to make a reasonable return on their money and re-employ people.”
“Why could the socialists not do that too?” Huda said, puffing in her chair. “It sounds pretty logical to me.”
“For socialists, profit’s a bad word,” Elmer explained. “They say it’s steeling from the worker, forgetting that it’s the investor who’s risking his hard earned money. They want big government to produce what everyone needs at a given price and in accordance with their regulations, and pay employers and workers a fixed wage. They forget that human beings aren’t made that way. Only dictatorships can enforce such policies. That’s why they lose at the ballot box.”
“But the huge USA deficits still burden their economy,” I said. “It will keep the recovery down. The new majority in the House will face criticism in 2012.”
“I bet Earth’s socialists are banking on that,” Tamil said, laughing. “If it goes better, the president can say, hey, folks, you see that we are doing better after all thanks to my policies?” and if it does not he can say “hey, you see who’s been messing up again? Didn’t I tell you about the failed Bush policies? Vote for me!”
“The economic laws don’t take sides, the average voter does not understand. They vote emotionally.” Shamus said. “Despite all the warning signs hanging around Obama’s neck, people discarded all the negatives and voted for him, regardless.”
“The Pied Piper played on that handsomely in 2008,” Pasha said. “Remember the Obama girl? She’s nowhere to be found. They just had Halloween down there. I heard she was cultivating pumpkins in Michelle Obama’s vegetable garden. Others reported she returned as a witch at that teleprompter that broke down and Obama lost his cool.”
“Earth was ripe for an illusion in 2008,” Huda said. “Things were going bad. The Pied Piper played all the right tunes. Hope and change. Nobody knew what that was, just an orgy. But he knew, like his cronies of the sixties whom he appointed Czars. Big government and socialist power. In two years they rammed three major socialist programs down the throat of the American people. That Presidential seal that fell down to the floor for the whole universe to see was a bad omen for the elections.”
“Former President Reagan warned about these people at the 1964 Republican Convention, as a young supporter of Goldwater,” Elmer said. “I looked it up. His words are as right today as they were then because the same sixties people who were acting up then are now Obama’s friends, mentors and Czars or close visitors to the White House. They finally got their chance in 2008. The result? A debt burden almost as large as the USA’s gross national product. No wonder people got scared. The whole Earth is looking down on the USA.”
“Obama is off to India this week for a state visit to forget the election debacle,” Tamil said. “A country of 1.3 billion people. You imagine? A nice tax-payer paid vacation at a cost of 2.5 million dollars a day. And that with a USA deficit that sticks way out of his ears, in a country where per capita income is a little over 1000 dollars a year.”
“The Republican Party’s euphoria may be exhilarating,” Shamus said, “but if they don’t resolve the deficit problem and perform to the wishes of their multiplex supporters, they will lose again in 2012. What’s needed is at least six years of conservative statesmanship to put their fiscal house in order, bring the deficits down and balance the budget. It all depends on who’ll be minding the store.”
“The big issue is indeed who will be their leader,” Elmer said, seriously. “If they can’t find someone who can face up to the Pied Piper in 2012 and talk him under the table, God forbid, the USA will be written off for good.”
“Well,” Shamus said,” let’s not be over pessimistic. Humans on Earth have screwed up time after time but overall progress has been impressive.”
“There’s always a silver lining to Earth’s tough luck,” Pasha said, smiling. “As long as they don’t do well, they won’t come visit us and spoil our way of life.”
“That’s the last word, dear panel,” I said. “Our next Round Table will be joined with Earth’s TV show Where the World Turns to discuss the fall out of the USA mid-term elections and their impact on the rest of Mother Earth. See you then.”
It took a while before I got back to Mars this time. Lots of static and rocks in the universe. What a relief when I landed safely at the Space Launching Site of Mars City Heliport. Elmer was waiting for me in the reception hall, smiling broadly.
“Hello Mars,” he welcomed me, “we heard about your lovely time with Kathryn and the universe kids. How was Space?”
“Rocky,” I answered. “Some ship must have lost its bearings or threw its metal garbage overboard. My radar kept beeping and the Scooter abruptly changed course several times. Couldn’t sleep.”
“You mentioned you taped an interesting interview on Earth with a prominent person, very curious.”
“We’ll use this for our next Round Table show. You‘ll see.”
Elmer took me home in his new sunlight-powered self-steering tour mobile.
“You can seat comfortably,” he said, “and look out the fiberglass windows and rooftop while enjoying a Martian beer or an Earthly Martini. I only have to punch the address in the computer on the dashboard and off we go, fully automatic.”
The tour mobile glided almost silently in-between buildings and over fields till we got to my home.
“Wonderful ride,” I said admiringly.
“Jupiter Drone brought it on the market,” Elmer clarified. “It’s a substantial improvement of its predecessor. Well, I’ll leave you here, you must be tired. We’ll talk tomorrow in the office. ”
Exhausted I went to bed, thinking of my lovely Kathryn and her universe kids in far remote and troubled Earth, hoping to see them back soon on the Omaha screen.
A few days later, we were seated at the conference table in Mars TV studio and the whole panel was present. The red light blinked telling us we were on. At the same time the VC opened showing Kathryn and her panel at her Omaha Studio.
“Welcome back to everyone,” I began, “greetings to you on Earth too, do you read us well?”
“Fine and clear,” Kathryn said, “Greetings to you too. We’re all set.”
“As we announced, we’ll show you my interview with an influential and well-informed person taped during my recent stay on Earth. His name is Dr. Philip Kisshanger who has a broad background in the world of politics, business, and international gambling. He even travelled in a Russian Soyuz rocket to visit Earth’s International Space Station to study if he could see the world from a more objective point of view. His visions are most revealing. Roll the tape.”
It showed me sitting in a luxury suite in a Four Seasons Hotel in Washington D.C., in front of a suitably grey-haired Dr. Kisshanger, hooked nose, piercing eyes, dressed in an impeccable dark suit, white shirt, and sedate dark blue dotted tie decorated with a golden pin and a 2 carats diamond.
“Dr. Kisshanger,” I started, “we’re most grateful for allowing us this interview which will reach our many viewers on Earth and Mars combined. Where do you see Earth heading to today?”
“That’s a very good question, Mr. Mars. Frankly, the sights are not good. The United States has significantly weakened because its heavily indebted economy is severely leveraged to its competitors and potential enemies such as China. Its capacity to exert its influence in geopolitics has virtually disappeared as rogue nations take its power for granted and continue their reckless path to destruction undisturbed. Europe has shown it’s incapable of keeping its financial union in check and its once prosperous looking future is rapidly losing steam. Russia is continuing to play its Russian Roulette and wraps the USA around its greedy fingers. Several Latin American countries are plagued by internal instability and spiral downward to socialism and drug wars. Central and South Asia remain in turmoil, torn between poverty and internal hatred. Despite substantial foreign aid, Africa seems unable to get beyond its ethnic strife. And then the eternal struggle of the Middle-East. For thousands of years they have been at war with each other, either internally or across borders, and I’m afraid that will never change. Previously that did not matter but since most of the world’s oil is on their lands, it does now. I’d rather be on Mars.”
“You’d be most welcome, Dr. Kisshanger, but you may miss your daily Omaha steak. What do you think should be done to safeguard America’s future?”
“First of all, the United States must regain its superpower status that the current leadership has squandered for no good reason. As a result, it’s being bullied in the United Nations in front of the world by egregious leaders whose regimes have no respect for the most basic human rights and who are out to destroy the West. Unless the American leadership is replaced by a much more fearless team, this fragility will lead to World War Three and a catastrophic loss of life.”
“But we hear all the time that the United States Military is the strongest in the world.”
“Not with a Commander in Chief who bows to his Islamic oil suppliers or who doesn’t put the rascals in the UN on their place with everyone to see it.”
“Do you think that Americans are suffering from Islamophobia?”
“Americans are rightfully concerned. Islamic radicalism is a built-in feature of its religion. It was spread with the sword in hand. Surely the religion, like any religion, has peaceful elements and social validity, and for many millions of Islamic believers this is probably the case, but for those who are illiterate and suffer from poverty and merciless dictatorship, and those who seek their power, it breeds desire to destroy what they see as threatening their beliefs and social system. They believe that God gives them the sword to subdue or kill in his name even at the loss of their own life. American leaders should call a spade a spade, as not doing so is only seen as utter weakness.”
“Would that mean going to war with Iran on the nuclear issue?”
“Iranians are an intelligent people and most of them mistrust or even hate their Government. The American administration has missed several chances of supporting the local opposition on its path to revolt. That’s the first step that should be corrected. Once the Mullah regime and the hard-liners develop the bomb, it will be much harder to do.”
“The US administration has tried with stronger sanctions but there is no international agreement.”
“True, but a blockade of refined oil to Iran is all what’s needed. It would paralyze their economy in the shortest time and topple their government because they don’t have sufficient refinery capacity. A partial coalition of the willing can achieve that; it only requires a bit of guts. That’s what’s lacking in today’s Western world, mainly because of American reluctance to act. But it would be a lot less costly than war.”
“America’s wars have cost it dearly and the opposition has decried its waste of money and lives.”
“One cannot maintain the West’s freedom and way of life without defending it time and again. We had Nazism, Communism, and now we face the threats from worldwide Islamism. So far, America has stood up and prevailed. There is a cost to freedom. If you don’t pay it, you will lose it, and that costs a lot more. America’s future is at stake. People who don’t believe it and take no action will only find out when it’s too late. Remember Munich and Pearl Harbor, and more recently New York’s Towers which was close enough.”
“You feel that New Yorkers are right to oppose the construction of that mosque on Ground Zero?”
“I fully share that view. Unless the Islamic promoters support the construction of a Christian church in their midst in the Middle East, such as Mecca in Saudi Arabia or Teheran, and stop their pursuit of Christians and Jews in their local societies, New Yorkers shouldn’t budge. The American leadership has been utterly hypocritical about this. Hiding behind our principles of religious freedom is no way to defend our freedoms and Christian faith.”
“What are your views on the local political scene in the United States?”
“The revolt against socialism is a healthy reaction to an administration that is pursuing an agenda of an intellectual few that mainly stems from the radical sixties. But it’s not just an American revolt. It is spreading to Europe as well, and they’re watching the forthcoming elections here carefully to see if it is carrying weight. Europe is far more entrenched in socialism than the United States and what is now being tried here has already proved a failure over there. Governments can’t pay their bills anymore. There’s a move to the right in several European countries. That’s why it’s so surprising that its supporters here are still prepared to push it through.”
“What pushes them?”
“For more than a century after the industrial revolution, social ideologists have tried too quell the capitalist ideology. It is based on good intentions gone awry, because equality is essentially an oxymoron. It so happens that no economic system is perfect because we humans, who operate it, are not perfect. Still, even the factory worker is a capitalist: he/she wants to earn more to possess more, but their class war leaders think they can achieve that by taking away from those who risked their money. Human nature, socialist or capitalist, reacts to incentives. If you take away the incentives from the risk takers, they won’t invest and employ anymore, as simple as that.”
“Why is the current leadership pursuing this ideology then?”
“To make people dependent on them and stay in power. But you can only fully implement that in dictatorships, and communism has failed. So they try to win majorities in the democratic system and impose their ideology that way. This caused the high unemployment rate in Europe and is now affecting the economy here. Increasing taxes to spend more for the good of the people is doomed policy. Bureaucrats and parliamentarians don’t know how to make money, only how to spend it to stay elected.”
“Can this hateful division in the political system of the United States and elsewhere be solved?”
“In a democracy, the pendulum swings between left and right. The left went too far to the left this time and will pay the price. It’s up to the right to strike an economic balance that everyone can live with, profitably and conveniently. America’s future hangs in that balance. It will require exquisite leadership to achieve that. Reagan did. The person who will enunciate that balance has not yet shown its face.”
“Is the tea party movement a failed movement then?”
“It’s a catalyst, a unique revolt against a statist assault to destroy the true American entrepreneurial spirit. The statists don’t understand the country they’re born in. The person who will grasp the movement’s ideas and passion, and extrapolate it nationally, will surely emerge and defeat them. The same thing will happen in Europe if it isn’t already.”
“Well, Dr. Kisshanger, I thank you very much for this interesting interview. We hope you will appear before our universe audience again.”
“That’s all the time we have my dear viewers,” I said, seeing the red light blinking, “see you next time.”
Bob picked me up at his Nebraskan corn estate near Omaha, which has become my preferred landing site on Earth because Kathryn has her TV studio there. “You look human again,” he welcomed me, seeing me climbing out of Space Scooter One in my Earth fatigues. “Kathryn, the kids and a few friends are waiting for drinks.”
It was a happy reunion. Labor Day offers that mixture of friendly farewell to summer and back to school frenzy when everything gets serious again and boring TV repeats stop. A good time to celebrate enjoying the season’s last barbecue and talk about Earth’s daunting agenda. Bob’s friends included Paul Faulkner, a well-known financier, Henriette Alston, a writer, Charlene Kaufmann, a business executive, and Eugene Carlton, an economics professor at Omaha University. Kathryn had only Pete and Sue with her.
“Your last Mars panel was very critical of the lack of an inspiring figure on the American right,” Bob started, serving Martinis and beer on his sprawling terrace. His beautiful wife Marlene had prepared a wealth of delicious snacks.
“From our vantage point high-up there,” I said, pointing to heaven, “it looks frightening indeed. You need a firebrand to spell out your ideas clearly and convincingly, not that same old same old wooden political jargon we’ve heard for some years now.”
“Don’t you think Gingrich hasn’t been doing that right?” Charlene asked.
“He has, and he is formidable,” I said. “But it’s still same old same old.”
“But people are so disgusted with all that nice talk about change while we are going down in flames,“ Marlene countered, “that they will vote for the opposite side in November, regardless.”
“There are several polls that seem to validate that point, “Kathryn said, “but Mars is right, there is no one to articulate our views. That’s our problem. There’s no Reagan and we need him soon.”
“The Pied Piper won because he had fresh charisma,” I said, “and could speak convincingly unlike Bush or his father with Clinton. There’s nobody else so far on the right who has that forceful ability. A Republican win in November would only mean a no-vote for Democrats and you may lose that again in 2012, as you did before.”
“The Pied Piper must by now have doubts that his socialist agenda is working,” Eugene said. “To stay in power and achieve at least a portion of his additional socialist goals while keeping the ones he got largely intact, he must adopt a few strategies of the center just to take the wind out of their sails.”
“François Mitterrand, the French socialist party leader who got elected President in 1981, did just that,” Paul said. “I was a student in Paris at that time, and still see him smirking when he took office: “Those on the right who criticize socialism will be proven wrong. We will see who does better,” he pontificated. They nationalized the banks and industries and imposed wide-ranging socialist regulations. In three years the economy was completely wrecked and unemployment soaring. Two years later the socialists lost the elections and Mitterrand was forced to accept what they called“cohabitation” with the right. But because he adopted some of the right’s policies and denationalized some banks and industries again, he was still re-elected for another seven year term. It may happen here too.”
“The reason that happened, “Eugene said, “was that Mitterrand convincingly preached that socialism was “justice”, not just “freedom, equal opportunity and brotherhood” as their flag says. “Justice” to him meant that everybody is offered the same share of the collective good, not the freedom offered by incentive-based capitalism that is ingrained in the human spirit and the invisible economic laws. He considered that against the collective good. Obama thinks the same. It’s a good slogan in the ears of a superficial electorate, but it conflicts with basic economics. That’s why Mitterrand’s socialism failed and Obama’s will fail here too.”
“But France is not the USA,” Bob said. “We are experiencing a grassroots groundswell in defense of our freedom, the justice of our Founding Fathers, and our way of free enterprise. On the left they keep barking at the Bush policies, but many of those were imposed by the Democrats themselves, when they took over the house and senate in 2006, and these policies are plaguing us now. They don’t say that of course, but the Republican Party isn’t saying it enough.”
“Bush’s error was not to veto them,” Kathryn said, “even if they could’ve overridden his position. As a result he is blamed for them, such as the Fanny May and Freddie Mac disasters that started the whole financial mess.”
“True, but that still does not mean they were his policies,” Sue intervened. “My school friends keep harping on Bush too, but when I tell them that they shut up.”
“There’s more that’s going on,” Pete said, in support of his beautiful slant-eyed sister who reminded me so dearly of my far away homeland in the universe. “Younger people are searching for a different truth that the secular emptiness of the socialist crowd does not offer them. They feel cheated out of an objective education with professors that indoctrinate them with their own personal views. They feel that their civil rights are being abused and want a fundamental change in the class.”
“You saw a reflection of that in the huge crowd that Glenn Beck attracted at the Mall in DC,” Charlene said. “It was refreshingly non-political. A lot of people want a return to the basic values of the USA, faith, trust and freedom to just do your job right and feel good about it. We don’t need all that government stuff.”
“There’s a huge cleavage between the two philosophies,” Eugene explained. Seeing Henriette, Charlene and Marlene in their low-cut summer dresses exchanging rapid looks of ridicule, he said: “No girls, I didn’t mean it in the biological sense.” When the laughing stopped, he continued: “It’s been ringing throughout history. Paul referred to François Mitterrand. I’m sure he was genuine in his convictions, and maybe Obama and his consorts are as well. But whose justice are they talking about? Their justice is power of a few over many to enforce a tyrannical ideology they think is better for us. We want less interference, small government, and God-fearing freedom to do what we do best. That got the economy running again in the nineties and that had nothing to do with Clinton but all with Gingrich.”
“If you say that at your University,” Sue attacked, “what does your management say?”
“True,” Eugene admitted. “I say it but presently I have to be careful, because academia is notoriously left. But my sense is that views in academia are changing, as they are in some circles in Hollywood.”
“But would Glenn Beck’s Christianity movement have political ramifications that could beat socialism here?” Sue asked him.
“There is a lot of growling in the nation,” Eugene responded, “and I sense that also among the young. Secularism has been pushed too far and contradicts the message of our Founding Fathers. Over 300,000 people on the Mall in DC can’t be wrong.”
“God has been driven out of our materialistic lives for too long,” Henriette said. “Churches are empty in the big cities. Daily advertisement pushes our earthy beliefs. It would take a messianic leader to lead us back to where we were. Obama saw that nationwide emptiness and filled it with his socialistic message for change. The masses, in particular the young, all fell into the trap. The Pied Piper may yet do it again if we don’t find an equivalent.”
“The left is fearful of a religious swell,” Bob said, “and will try to smear it as rightist extremism, while forgetting that socialist theology is leftwing extremism. That’s precisely the cleavage Eugene was talking about” – He noticed the ladies chuckling again, looking down and shaking their heads. “The leftwing advantage is that while they are not in the majority, they have the majority media on their side.”
“People always throw in God like a commodity,” I said. “It has hugely hypocritical overtones. Look at that Islamic reaction to that ground zero mosque. We on Mars were utterly amazed. Of course it is a plot to mark Islamic territory after 9/11, but the moslims, socialists and their media call it constitutional religious freedom that they deny to the Christian faith elsewhere.”
“What is God for you then, Dad?” asked Sue out-of- the-blue.
“As I said before, to me it’s not just one person or one particular belief as often portrayed, but the framework of the universe in whose grace we live. When I am in Space and float along the stars all by myself, see the cosmos I am made off, it’s something overwhelming, a powerful statement of good over evil, strength over weakness, reason over hatred. It brought you Moses and the Ten Commandments from the Sinai, and all Abrahamic religions, including Islam, respect those basic rules. That’s God for me. Why can’t you just unite on that?”
“Institutionalized religion made by man is the main obstacle on Earth,” Henriette said. “Books left and right and religious wars throughout history confirm that world-wide.”
“Still, it would be better if they build that mosque somewhere else and not at Ground Zero,” Sue said. “It would take the sting out of a wound that would otherwise never heal.”
“Presidential politics seem ambivalent on this subject,” Pete said, sarcastically. “Two million Islamic voters count too.”
“You can’t have your cake and eat it,” Sue retorted, “it’ll boomerang. I hope moderate Muslims will convince that fiery Imam to drop it and move his controversial project somewhere else.”
“Sustained pressure from the grassroots will do it,” Henriette said. “There will be marches and speeches on 9/11 and thereafter.”
“As there will be other marches and speeches on the Mall,” Marlene said, “a never ending story trying to prove that big government and socialism are good for the country or not.”
“The opposite of President Kennedy with his well-known rhetorical question,” Paul said, “ask not what your Government can do for you, but what you can do for your Government”. This seems totally forgotten. And he cut taxes, and not raised them. They don’t have Democrats like him anymore.”
“The welfare state encourages intellectual laziness,” Kathryn said, “and drives out our way of get-up-and-go. Socialists suck on that to empower themselves. I hear it often on my shows, but there’s too much talking and too little doing. A march on the Mall here and there is not going to change things.”
“We need a convincing plan that explains the “no”,” Eugene said. “Or rather explains the mood of the center and center-right. People must understand why socialism doesn’t work. It is a leftist totem, not an economic wisdom. Find a charismatic interlocutor who can energize business but also America’s factory worker, galvanize our solidarity and team spirit, our optimism, enthusiasm and faith to do right. Someone who brings trust back into the system. That’s the challenge. The people thought that Obama was offering that but all they got was an empty bag full of holes.”
“Precisely,” Kathryn said. “That’s the argument made on my shows. The “no” is not because there is no plan, it is a “no” to an ideology that leads to economic stalemate. If Obama calls the Republican Party the Party of No, call the Democratic Party the Party of Doom, which it is. But that “no” has to be articulated and it must.”
“Is Senator Ryan’s budget plan not the answer?” Pete asked.
“It has some very good points,” Paul answered. “But others seem not politically convinced, that’s why I think that the Republican leadership has not fully embraced it. In any event, it has not been spelled out and advertized like Gingrich did with his “Contract with America” in 1994 and got it enacted in 1996 when they got the majority in the House. That’s the first thing they must do.”
“You’ll see,” Bob said, “that around Labor Day, the Pied Piper will make overtures to the center by proposing some business incentives, to stem the anti-democratic surge. It may not help them enough in November and he may be forced to cohabitate with the Republican Party like Mitterrand in France was at the time, but it may save him in the end.”
“True,” Paul said, “that would make Republicans part of the process. If things get better like they always do in the business cycle, the Pied Piper can claim credit, get re-elected in 2012 and struggle along with his socialist agenda for further damage. We need a credible plan and motivator for the “no” if we want to win in 2012 and save the USA from permanent decline.”
“That’s a nice subject for my next show,” Kathryn said. “Mars must be tired, Marlene, we have to go,” and she stood up. Bob walked us to Kathryn’s TV limousine. What a room compared to Space Scooter One.
The green light flickered and our show “Mother Earth’s Weekly Squirms” was on. Our Mars TV panel, back from vacation, was complete.
“Dear panel,” I began, “the news from Mother Earth is increasingly bizarre. We see a near collapse of financial systems moving toward a deflationary spiral, sparks of another Middle East war, religious strife is booming and the Obama administration is still using Bush for all the ills that they created themselves. Shamus, can you explain?”
“The socialist nincompoops are outdoing themselves. They argue that Americans don’t want more of the eight Bush years but they do exactly the same, only ten times worse, using the financial crisis to their advantage. The USA has been on a slippery socialist slope since the Republicans dropped their Contract with America and the socialist elite used the vacuum to take over.”
“The Federal Reserve’s subsidizing the economy to fuel consumer spending and the Democratic expansion of the national debt have consistently undermined the free market for more than a decade,” Elmer added. “The Obama administration put the nail in the coffin by breaking the contract of trust between investors and manufacturing industries. Investors place money expecting a reasonable rate of return. When the Obama administration began nationalizing auto industries and didn’t pay them back, investor money dried up and no wonder the job market stalled.”
“You cannot run a socialist theology in a free market system,” Tamil pointed out. ”You need a tyrannical dictatorship based on fear and brute force. The Soviets eventually failed but only after seventy vicious years, and tens of millions tortured and death. Communist China, drawing the lesson, is using capitalist formats to feed its billions of people but is still a crude and dangerous dictatorship. The Obama socialists are trying to achieve the same, smartly using the democratic system with their combative rhetoric of class warfare and by deliberately destroying America’s free market to make everybody dependent on government to stay in power.”
“I agree,” Shamus said. “Obama and his radical associates are reforming America through misinforming the public and brainwashing its children, like Islamic madrassas, and although they are in a minority, their intellectual zeal has made substantial inroads. But America’s love for freedom is too ingrained in its society. The Obamas will eventually fail too, albeit after causing serious harm to the USA and the rest of the world that depends on its engine of growth, and it will take a decade or more to recover.”
“Should this concern us on Mars?” I asked
“To the contrary,” Elmer believed. “NASA won’t have money to send more spy monsters, Russia either, China isn’t there yet, and that will delay the moment Earth kids will come and stare at us through a glass wall like watching sea otters in Sea World.”
“It does concern our investments on Mother Earth, though,” Shamus said, gravely. “The Obama regime has set a deflationary spiral in motion and the first signs are already visible in their declining housing market and falling mortgage rates. Their stock market will collapse too. You can’t mess with the laws of economics and short selling politicians do it all the time. Glad our system doesn’t allow that here. And now it’s being done with a fascist agenda of statist control. It’s time to sell our assets. The longer we wait, the lesser we’ll get.”
“Pasha, any views?” I asked.
“I don’t understand why they let Lindsay Lohan out of prison after serving only two weeks out of six,” she said, shaking her head. “My viewers were stunned.”
I saw Elmer and Shamus exchanging quick looks of ridicule towards their female partner.
“And why Paris Hilton was let off for carrying cocaine,” Huda remarked, supporting Pasha. “Those are all signs of a declining society.”
“And why they encourage the demise of Christianity versus adoration of Islam. It’s religious Earth wars all over again,” Pasha said, noticing Elmer’s flickering eyes.
“Do you think Earth will ever stop this religious madness?” I asked.
“It won’t,” Elmer said. “The prophet Jesus taught tolerance and forgiveness, but the Jews killed him anyway. After that kings, emperors and popes abused Christianity for power and greed, till Luther put oil on the fire and religious wars between Catholics and Protestants bloodied the soil for centuries, not so long ago in Northern Ireland. Now Islam is battling Christianity, again.”
“The difference with Christ,” Tamil said, “is that the prophet Mohammed, who came six hundred years later, was a warrior and submitted peoples to Islam with the sword, preaching intolerance of other religions instead, and they swarmed the belly of Europe till the Christians defeated them in Spain in the Middle Ages. Now Islam, seeing a weakening Christianity, is reaching as far as New York.”
“Planning to build a huge mosque near the Holy Ground Zero,” Pasha scoffed, “and that mayor and B-Husain Obama allowing it in the name of religious tolerance that Islam doesn’t even recognize. Why not first a Christian church in Saudi-Arabia? And then the US State Department using taxpayer funding to send the Imam who’s behind that mosque to the Middle-East to discuss differences and securing at the same time money for his mosque. Political hypocrisy on Earth knows no boundaries.”
“The secular socialist forces in Europe and America are purposely undermining Earth’s Christianity,” Huda opined, “but they’re giving Islam a pass because of its belligerent threats. It’s a cowardice that will destroy their culture. Islamic Sharia law has no place in Christianity and democracy, and denies women’s rights. Not surprising to see leaders like that Geert Wilders from tiny Holland fulminating against Europe’s islamization. He won many seats in their parliament because they’re really getting scared.”
“I understand that Mr. Wilders is coming to New York on September eleven to join and speak at a protest against that mosque,” I said. “Interesting development. But would the financial ruin of Mother Earth not have any impact on this?”
“Deflation may slow construction,” Shamus said, “but unemployed workers will get hired even if it’s against their beliefs. And as long as the USA sends oil money to Saudi Arabia that money will flow back into the mosque. ”
“What would you advise the USA if you were in their shoes?” I asked.
“Voters who want freedom must take interest in the fate of their country and speak up,” Tamil said. “They say twenty percent are Obama socialists, forty percent are conservatives and the other forty is independent. That group voted for Obama’s change, not realizing that it meant the discomfiture of the USA as they knew it. If they don’t take their country back coming November and change sides in 2012, it’ll be stolen from them right under their nose, maybe for good.”
“But we know they have no charismatic leader to beat the pied piper!” Pasha exclaimed. “And no appealing theme to beat his socialist melodrama, no Contract with America. Only saying no to Obamacare and Michelle’s taxpayer veggie garden is not enough to explain your different philosophy.”
“The art is how to explain boring economics 101 in simple and clear terms,” Shamus said. “That defeats socialists outright. I remember Reagan could, with his “government is the problem”. Books won’t help. Paper commentaries won’t. Speeches by current leaders won’t. Someone strong must be found to energize the voters as the pied piper did, with the opposite vision of freedom and free enterprise.”
“That’s an issue we’ll take up with the viewers on Earth in our next panel meeting,” I said. “Thank you all for listening in.”