When average everyday American citizens come home from work, they almost invariably drive on a congested highway owned and maintained by the government, often on the way to an overcrowded government school to pick up their children. And before they pull into the garage, they check on their mail from the government-run bankrupt post office.
Simply put: American citizens cannot avoid the pernicious intrusion of government into virtually every facet of their lives. It is pervasive. And it is invasive. Yet, very few people fully understand the long-term consequences of constant government intervention. It is clear that the side effects of ubiquitous government control often causes people to make what many free market advocates might consider irrational decisions about current government programs.
For example, when one economist asked MIT Nobel laureate Robert Solow why he was opposed to school choice he said, “It isn’t for any economic reason; all the economic reasons favor school vouchers. It is because what made me an American is the United States Army and the public school system.” That economist was Dr. Daniel Klein and Solow’s reaction is what he calls “The People’s Romance.”
“The People’s Romance” is a phenomenon that draws people to government in a way that allows government to do things to which most people would object were they to step back and take a closer look at the deleterious effects of government usurpation. Through a myriad of common government-owned “focal points” (i.e. roads, postal service, schools), government solidifies its power, which Klein calls “encompassing sentiment coordination.”
Once government gains the passive acceptance of a large portion of the population under “The People’s Romance,” it can do almost anything it wants. One common historical example was Josef Stalin’s reign over the Soviet Union. It is clear that he had the subjugated people under one of the strongest “People Romances” in recorded history.
Obviously, “The People’s Romance” is very dangerous for a functioning free society and is at the heart of authoritarian thinking. Karl Marx believed that workers were alienated through capitalism and the division of labor, and that they should be brought together as a “union into one single productive body.” That meant that every individual was now working towards a communal end.
And it is now clear that “The People’s Romance” is becoming an established fixture in the United States. For example, most Americans cannot even fathom the elimination of the Department of Education – even though the quality of education has plummeted since the establishment of that union-controlled monolithic bureaucracy. And rarely will one ever hear a Washington politician or mainstream media pundit discuss a true free-market solution to the nation’s health care problems – even though it would cut costs and improve quality just as it has in almost every other industry.
Unfortunately, because of “The People’s Romance” indoctrination, the words privatization or deregulation are now considered taboo. And all of the while the nation goes bankrupt as government continues grabbing up and running down one sector of the economy after another.
So now, sadly, the solutions to many of the current problems facing the United States are being ignored simply due to people’s blind trust in the powers that be. And patched-over roads with massive traffic jams leading to costly government schools where children’s heads are filled with mush have become an acceptable norm, along with the inefficiencies of an government monopolized postal system.
In short, they are all part and parcel of a once less obtrusive, arms-length relationship the American people once had with their government that has long-since devolved into an oppressive “People’s Romance” gone horribly awry.
Posted by John Ray. For a daily critique of Leftist activities, see DISSECTING LEFTISM. To keep up with attacks on free speech see TONGUE-TIED. Also, don't forget your daily roundup of pro-environment but anti-Greenie news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH . Email me (John Ray) here