As the world burns

“They’re rioting in Africa;
There’s strife in Iran.
What nature doesn’t do to us,
Will be done by our fellow man.”

Sheldon Harnick, “The Merry Minuet”
(performed by the Kingston Trio)

After Climategate cooled the fire of manmade global warming, Al Gore kept himself pretty much out of the limelight, until last week, when he suggested that we put together an “American Spring.”

After hearing this, my friend Dmitry shot off an email in his typical, sarcastic style, saying, “I am so delighted to learn about Al Gore’s proposal for an ‘American Spring’ – a sequel to the original ‘Arab’ one! I wonder if he has any candidates for the role ofLara Logan, who was raped by a cheering Arab mob.”

Had Ms. Logan’s assault been an isolated incident, I would have cut Al a little slack, but it wasn’t. The former vice president didn’t consider the human rights violations against non-Muslims during the Arab Spring, including widespread looting, beatings and property burnings. The violence extended beyond Egypt’s borders to encompass Libya and Syria. Nonetheless, Gore thought this was a good idea for America.

Our founding principles of limited government, free markets, individual liberty and personal responsibility have propelled us far beyond the rest of the world, both politically and economically. I wonder then why progressives always want to emulate those outside our borders.

Communism in the Soviet Union crumbled under the weight of a central economy. In apparent response, the People’s Republic of China reverted to capitalism, and it is now a major global economy. Yet our leaders reject free-market principles by picking business “winners and losers” and subsidizing products Americans don’t want.

We’ve all heard the horror stories about universal health care in Canada and Great Britain. We read about the waste, escalating costs and rationing to the point that Canadians now turn to us for quality health care. How did Congress respond? They enacted ObamaCare.

Then there are the “green energy” programs in Spain, which resulted in 2.2 jobs lost  for every “green” job created. What’s worse, only 10 percent of the jobs created were permanent. Yet the president and Congress continue promoting a green agenda.

Europe has been living beyond its means for at least 60 years. As a result, the dominoes started toppling with Portugal, followed closely behind by Iceland, Greece and Spain, and they all seekbailouts. Italy isn’t far behind.

Learning nothing from this and rejecting the warnings of bond rating agencies, Congress raised the national debt beyond our annual economic output. . Standard & Poor’s responded by downgrading our credit, and China now suggests replacing the U.S. dollar with a global reserve currency  as the world’s “gold standard.” Congress should take heed from Conservative European Parliament Member Daniel Hannan, who said, “You cannot spend your way out of recession, or borrow your way out of debt.”

It’s ironic that the more the rest of the world burns, the more our leaders turn to them for guidance. We’d all be much better off if we re-learned those lessons adopted by those countries that have learned from us.

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