Growth and economic prosperity are a product of culture and trends. In education growth must be related to reason and scientific inquiry. Rapid innovation often requires a healthy disrespect for the old and the status quo. Some believe Japan is hindered by strict loyalty to the elderly. In America a couple of college dropouts in a garage can unseat IBM and the computer leader.
Our culture rewards innovation and change, but as we know very well, change comes with choices and often with pain. In order for the pie to grow, companies and institutions decay and die and are replaced by new institutions and companies.
Bookstores are shuttered as Amazon grows. Microsoft and Apple prosper; Digital, NEC, and Burroughs no longer exist. Nucor is the biggest steel producer (and non union); Bethlehem, LTV and Republic are ghosts. In our economy this is repeated endlessly.
The danger of institutional growth in the government sector is that the old are rarely allowed to die. Obama has promised to rid our government of outdated programs and institutions, but so have nearly every president before him since Carter. Even if he did rid us of old programs he is growing the government sector so much and so fast that it will strangle the private sector.
We already have a culture of growth and change. Growth is also tied to a growth in population, either by birthrate or immigration or both. Europe’s is suffering from low birthrate as much as big government socialism, and its immigrants are marginalized in a semi apartheid state. This is a very dangerous brew.
The irony is that if anything near this huge budget is passed we will need a huge growth in the economy to pay for it. Yet nothing will slow the economic growth machine down like the government usurping the private sector in a huge European style government.
Europe has been mired in a stagnant economy and high unemployment for many years. It is not a model worth emulating.