Here’s to the Gipper

The end of an era. Reagan has finally traveled to the great beyond, where I’m sure they use supply-side economics. For those Neo-Keynesians out there, I think that it was very brave to try something different, but I don’t think it really worked. Keynes had all his bases covered until Jimmy Carter managed to really screw things up. Of course, the oil shock of the late 70’s had more to do with the stagflation than Carter did, but you could definitely say that Carter had a hand in it. Reagan was the man that, although he proclaimed a radical new plan through his supply-side and “trickle-down” concepts, did exactly what Keynes himself would have done if he were running the Fed.

And it sucked. It sucked for the hundreds of thousands of people that were thrown out of work by the steep interests rates. Putting the skids on an overheating economy always causes unemployment. This is no surprise, but certainly didn’t make it any easier for those hit by the cuts. But without these drastic steps, the rampant inflation could have quickly turned to hyperinflation, and would have ruined us.

But Reagan had a bigger agenda than throwing people out of work. He wasn’t in the business of deficit spending “just for the hell of it.” He had a purpose in his massive spending. The goal, to spend more than Russia. The only way to beat Russia in the Cold War was to build a bigger arsenal than they could afford. And build it he did. Why do you think we marched through Iraq so easily in ’91? It was because of Reagans military buildup. And Reagans campaign was successful, and Communist Russia fell. Of course, it helped that Gorbachev was willing to stand up against the hardliners in his country, but even without him, Reagan would have eventually won his Cold War.

I hear so many liberals talking about “why are we spending so much money building up the military, when we have so many poor people in the US?” Well, the answer to that is very simple. It is the governments responsibility… perhaps only real responsibility, to protect the country from foreign threats. If people here are poor, uneducated, or homeless, it is not because opportunity doesn’t exist. They have either chosen a path which prevents them from succeeding, or haven’t taken the necessary steps to be in a position to succeed. If someone is poor or homeless because they are an alcholic, that’s sad. But it’s their fault, not the goverments, and not ours as taxpayers. If someone chose not to go to college, and they can only get a minimum wage job, that’s not our fault either. And don’t tell me that you can’t go to college if you start out poor. Come on, folks. Anyone can go to college. I had a professor that wanted to attend Rochester Institute of Technology. He didn’t have a dime, and didn’t have any experience to get a good job. So he worked fast food, lived underneath someone’s porch, and took out student loans. Now, he is an endowed chair of a department pulling in 120K per year. So don’t tell me that some people don’t have the chance to make good. I worked 60+ hours a week and went to school at night and on the weekends to get it done. I spent tons of money on tuition, but no one paid for it for me. I didn’t get scholarships, and there was no college fund to pay my way. It’s true that some people have an easier time of it than others, but everyone can do it if they’re willing to make the sacrifices.

The truth of the matter is, there are many people that are unwilling to sacrifice the time, money, or other activities they could be doing. So next time you start to feel sorry for someone, ask yourself “Are they struggling because life dealt them an unfair hand, or are they suffering because they would rather blame others than be proactive and do something to improve the situation?” In my opinion, if the person isn’t trying to help themself, then they don’t deserve my help.

This sort of turned into a tirade about social responsibility, when it was supposed to be a tribute to Ronald Reagan.

So here’s to the Gipper, the man who won the Cold War, and the man of the century, whether or not Time Magazine has the guts to say so. May we be fortunate enough to have another president with half his character.

  5 comments for “Here’s to the Gipper

  1. November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    AUTHOR: wilberteets There is never going to be a president who can please every American throughout their presidency. Obviously, Ronald Reagan was a good man and it’s ubertacky to slam the dead. You wrote a good entry.

  2. November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    AUTHOR: Pork Tornado Nice entry. Well researched, well written. Ubergrrl’s comments weren’t super hatred or anything (said he was “stupid”, which is probably a compliment coming from a girl in coolege in Boulder Colorado) but I am one of those who believes that the dead deserve some dignity whether you liked them or not in life.

  3. November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    AUTHOR: Incredipete Twitter – I appreciate you sharing your enlightening article. If you read my entry, you know that I disagreed with Reagan’s economic policies, specifically his supply-side theory, which increased the distance between the wealthy and the middle class. I am willing to give responsibility at least in some general sense to Reagan for the Iran-Contra scandal, which as he said himself was his responsibility because it happened on his watch. However, I still maintain my position that he saved an economy doomed by the failures of Jimmy Carter, the oil embargo, and the S&L failures. (which incidentally occured because of the regulations passed during the Carter administration.) I also maintain that he stared down the Russians in the only way he could. Shadow governments and scandal are the stuff of X-files, and I always wonder how much conspiracy really exists, and how much is just massive bungling by a grossly oversized and inefficient government. However, I always welcome other’s opinions, and I hope you’ll stop by again in the future. Nothing like a little debate to get the juices flowing. I’d like to hear your thoughts, and not just some journalist’s opinion on the topic.

  4. November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    AUTHOR: Twitter Hope the link works – everyone needs enlightening – you, especially, it seems. http://www.madison.com/archives/read.php?ref=tct:2004:06:07:375019:EDITORIAL

  5. November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    AUTHOR: Incredipete I’ve gotten some negative feedback about my shout out to Reagan. People are saying things like “what about the Iran-Contra scandal?” To that I say, “what about it?” Let’s assume for a moment that Reagan knew what was going on. To say he’s the first president to do something that people might not think is ethical would be a grave error. Let’s not forget President Clinton walking Tieneman Square like he was on a Sunday stroll to the ice cream shop, or the Monica Lewinsky fiasco. Let’s remember JFK for having multiple affairs while in office, and probably helping to kill Marylin Monroe. Even honest Abe Lincoln, using slavery as his excuse, killed more Americans in his war than any other American war… and his true motivation? Not slavery, but preserving the union. It was a power trip, people. So let’s remember the great things that Reagan accomplished, and remember that every president has made mistakes in the White House. Without Reagan, we might have been nuked years ago, or might all be speaking Russian. Personally, I like speaking English.

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