I decided to look for opportunity in America. I did a search for American opportunity online. What came up on the first page of my search was only hits about government programs. Nothing else appears to be happening in the world of American opportunity.
According to my dictionary, the word opportunity has two meanings. The first is “a combination of circumstances favorable for the purpose; fit time.” The second is “a good chance or occasion, as to advance oneself.” Just above the word opportunity is the word opportunism. My dictionary says for this word, “the practice or policy of adapting one’s actions, judgments, etc. to circumstances, as in politics, in order to further one’s immediate interests, without regard for basic principles or eventual consequences.”
Having government policies entwined with opportunity causes opportunism. Opportunism is how I describe the key characteristic of neoliberalism. Opportunism is destroying opportunity in America.
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Where is opportunity in America without government involvement? How can we get rid of government’s entanglement in our opportunities? How did we get to the place we are where government makes our choices for us without regard to the consequences?
A fantastic insight about this topic comes from the classical liberal era. American Founders believed that political freedom requires economic freedom. Economic freedom from government interference is something we could use more of right now. Because government can’t create opportunity. Governments can’t make people creative or productive. They can tax us. They can close down our businesses under (bogus) covid restrictions. But they can’t be the dynamo of energy found in Americans who want to work to make the nation better and freer. The more government gets in the way, the poorer we all become in terms of opportunities and outcomes.
I have read that 50% of all American economic activity is now brokered by government. People get government checks to provide income that they may not be able to get any other way in our current economy. This is not at a time of economic growth but rather economic shrinkage. Even if you want to open a business after covid restrictions are over, the government will want to tax every dollar that you make as soon as you make it.
Paul Harvey has been off the radio since 2008 but I still remember him saying that the levels of taxation in the United States destroy people’s incentive to start a business. I seem to remember that he said as soon as taxes go above 17%, incentive to work begins to diminish. Now there are so many taxes and bossy regulations, so many middlemen and thieves wanting to steal the fire right out of the heart of the furnace of production that a lot of would-be entrepreneurs can’t see a way to get anything started. And financialization diverts money from productive uses to investment uses. People naturally want to get things done with their lives. Misguided voices who say that they want to have Universal Basic Income take the place of productive living have lost track of humanity’s wish to strive and accomplish. UBI is a monster that will sap every good thing out of people’s life legacy. And UBI won’t magically produce prosperity as it claims.
The question “Where is opportunity in America without government involvement?” There isn’t any such opportunity. But we can change things back to having opportunity by removing government’s involvement in people’s opportunity. Stop all the government oversight. Government should just stop minding our business and start minding the duties and obligations of governing.
“How can we get rid of government’s entanglement in our opportunities?” Stop rewarding people in government jobs that are regulating and spying on American businesses. End those jobs. I heard that Anthony Fauci makes $419,000 per year and he shouldn’t make that money. Fire him and all of the others like him.
“How did we get to the place we are where government makes our choices for us without regard for the consequences?” We let the government grow incrementally larger as a sign of progress until it has now eclipsed all other incremental growth in the nation. Cutting back the government by firing most government employees, returning to certifiable voting systems so that bad actors in Congress can be removed, reforming the monetary system and getting rid of financialization so that money can return to productive investments, reducing taxes on work that reduces the incentive to work, all of these things would return us to greater opportunity in America.