Friday, February 15, 2008

Sink the Ship Theory


By Richard E. Noble

It seems to be common knowledge that Ronald Reagan had a Sink the Ship economic philosophy. Many economists and left wing pundits and apologists galore explain, rather mater-of-factly, in book after book that it was the goal of the Reagan administration to bankrupt the federal treasury and to create an national debt so great that when and if a Democrat did get into office there would be no money left in the treasury or readily available for borrowing to invest in domestic spending. This is kind of like that movie "The War of the Roses".
In that movie two people who were once in love with one another and had married and were pursuing a common goal, were now at odds with one another. Their animosity towards each another becomes so great that eventually they each pursue a policy of total destruction of everything that they had built while together and in love. The movie ends in a scene of total destruction with both of them gasping their last breathes.
My first reaction to this type insanity with regards to our government is to say that this is absolutely ridiculous. But in light of the fact that Ronald Reagan did bankrupt the U.S. Treasury and create a national debt greater than the total combined efforts of all the presidents who had preceded him I have to consider the possibility that this type of treasonous insanity could be the fact.
And then when the next Republican George Herbert Walker Bush came along he did exactly the same thing - only double.
When Clinton came into office the treasury was in fact bankrupt and the national debt was beyond reclamation by many conservative estimates - where it remains to this day.
Now George W. is president and he seems to have performed the same unbelievable economic undermining of the American people that his father and their political hero Ronald Reagan had inspired.
One might be inclined to say that this has to be a first in all of American history - but it is not.
Herbert Hoover did basically the same thing in 1932.
When FDR came into office in 1932 the U.S. treasury had been vanquished - and primarily by tax giveaways and supposed incentives to the wealthy investment and business community. In Herbert's last days in office he had a going out of business sale - everything had to go. And it went!
The majority of these wealthy people took their tax breaks and incentives and turned them into gold bars and shipped them over to banks in Europe for safe keeping.
Before Hoover there was another famous Republican president, Benjamin Harrison, who did pretty much the same thing to Grover Cleveland. Grover Cleveland was forced to borrow money from the notorious J. P. Morgan to bail out the federal government when he took over for his second term.
So it does seem that bankrupting the federal government could be considered an old Republican tradition - but would any American do this consciously and not by accident? Could this be a serious Republican strategy?
If this is truly the case what could possibly be the Republican logic behind this strategy?
Well if we look at government, especially populist democratic government, as being in opposition to the wealthy and the power of the wealthy to control the system, I suppose a case could be made.
In other words, if I/we have all the money and the King/government is broke then could I not control the King or the government with my wealth? I suppose that I could.
But what about all of the other people in this democratic state? Would they not resist?
Well if we wealthy surround ourselves with a few others who we allow to be fairly wealthy and another even larger group that we allow to be moderately wealthy, and we buy up all the media and information sources could we not establish a ruling state behind the apparent popular state?
Well, of course we could. It has been done for century upon century. It is the history of the human race.
But could it be done here in the United States of America - the best informed and most educated country ever in the history of mankind - and a democracy of the people, by the people and for the people?
Certainly not?

Richard E. Noble is a Freelance Writer and has been a resident of Eastpoint for around thirty years. He has authored two books: "A Summer with Charlie" which is currently listed on and "Hobo-ing America" which should be listed on Amazon in the not too distant future. Most recently he completed his first novel "Honor Thy Father and Thy Mother" which will be published soon.