A Generation Ignorant Of History - Coronado Eagle & Journal | Coronado News | Coronado Island News: Opinion

A Generation Ignorant Of History

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Posted: Friday, September 6, 2019 2:43 pm

A wise pundit, whose words (but not his name) I recall, recently warned of the dangers that often accompany prosperity. One can easily become complacent and take things for granted. That danger may be upon us. We live in the world’s largest and richest economy with privileges and luxuries that inhabitants of less-favored lands can only dream of. Even those below the poverty line who struggle to make ends meet enjoy comforts and conveniences like air conditioning, computers, medicines, mobile devices, and affordable air travel that were unaffordable or didn’t yet exist a few generations ago in America and still don’t in some countries. Most importantly, we have a Constitution that endows us with rights and freedoms that don’t exist in totalitarian states. But freedom from having to worry about basic survival gives us plenty of time to find fault with the system that gave us these blessings.

Young people today seem inclined to take these blessings for granted since they have never really known anything different. They didn’t experience the Great Depression or the sacrifices and shortages of World War II or other national emergencies. Moreover, most appear to be alarmingly ignorant of history and their reading choices, if they read at all, tend not to include historical works which might make them more appreciative of the advantages they enjoy living in a country that is the number one dream destination for migrants the world over, many of whom risk their lives trying to make that dream a reality.

Today’s youth, we are told, are impatient and in search of causes. They want to make a difference and that usually means they want to change things. The cause du jour is climate change and their mission seems to be to save the planet. When life is relatively easy and basic needs (food, shelter, etc.) are being satisfied, one can devote a lot of effort and passion to a noble-sounding cause like that and to support candidates who display the most passion and promise to do whatever they think it takes to save the planet. That would be the Vermont socialist, Sen. Bernie Sanders, whom polls say is supported by most young voters. Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren is a close second.

And when one takes for granted all the many benefits one has enjoyed throughout a young life, one tends to expect even more. One may feel entitled not only to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, but also to all the stuff we think we need to achieve that happiness. We may tend to support the candidate that promises the most free stuff. That would also be Bernie and, again, Warren is a close second. As the so-called moderate Democrat candidates drop out and Joe Biden continues to self-destruct, Democrats will be left with a choice between Sanders and Warren with Sen. Kamala Harris as a probable running mate. Some choice!

Sanders compares climate change with the crisis Americans faced under Franklin D. Roosevelt. He would require all energy use to be 100% renewable by 2030 and would ban fracking, offshore drilling and all importing or exporting of fossil fuels. He would phase out nuclear power, shut down oil and gas pipelines and prevent any new fossil fuel production. The cost of his Green New Deal would be an estimated $16 trillion. That’s $16,000,000,000,000.00. Any fool knows that these promises will be impossible for any mere president to keep. Even If they were somehow kept, they might not save the planet but they would certainly destroy the economy and our standard of living. It would double the national debt, the interest on which, would leave nothing for discretionary items like defense and infrastructure and would force reductions in entitlements like social security, medicare and medicaid. This is pure insanity.

The socialists seem to believe that debt is actually a good thing and we can always pay the interest on it by just borrowing more or printing more money. Like Cuba, Venezuela and Argentina? How is that working out for them? Printing more money to pay interest while continuing to borrow will lessen its value and lead to rampant inflation. Is that what these youthful supporters of Sanders and Warren want? I used to feel sorry for the younger generation who will inherit the debt that we racked up but I guess it doesn’t bother them all that much.

Socialism and communism have failed to raise living standards and increased the misery index everywhere they’ve been tried. Our free market, capitalist system has enabled America to become the largest and richest economy in the world with freedoms and benefits others envy. Why would Americans even think of entrusting what we’ve gained to a socialist president who would put politicians who can’t even run cities in charge of everything in the country?

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