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Title: Blog by Novelist William S. Frankl, MD

A New Paradigm

On Tuesday, November 4, we vote for a president who will be with us for at least 4 years. This may be the most critical vote in our lifetimes. That was clearly outlined by Daniel Henninger in the October 30 issue of The Wall Street Journal. Below, I quote part of his article:

“Push past the historic candidacy, however, and one sees something even larger is at stake in this vote. One sees is what Joe (The Plumber) Wurzelbacher saw. The real “change” being put to a vote for the American people in 2008 is not simply a break from the economic policies of “the past eight years” but with the American economic philosophy of the past 200 years. This election is about a long-term change in America’s idea of itself…

“In detail:
“Obama’s federalized medical insurance system starts the transition away from private medical care and toward Obama’s endlessly promised “universal health care.” This has always been the sine qua non of achieving a U.S. social-market economy.

“Obama’s refundable tax credits are direct cash transfers from the federal government. This would place some 48% of Americans, nearly half, out of the income tax system. This isn’t just a tax proposal; it’s a deep philosophical shift. In Europe it’s called being “on the dole.”

“His stated intent to renegotiate free-trade agreements such as Nafta is also a philosophical shift. It means a transition away from a tradition of a hypercompetitive America dating back to the Industrial Revolution, toward a protected, domestic work force, as in Western Europe. The Democratic proposal to eliminate private union votes — “card check” — ensures the spread of a static, Euro-style work force.

“Eliminating the payment limit on payroll taxes changes Social Security from an insurance to a welfare program. Obama’s tax credits requires performing government-identified activities, the essence of a “directed economy.”

“All this would shift the animating American idea — away from creation and toward protection.

“Many voters — progressive Democrats, wealthy older people, academics and college students — regard this as where America should go. They explicitly want America’s energies transferred away from unwieldy economic competition and toward social construction. They want the U.S. to reduce its “footprint” in the world. Monies saved by stepping down from superpower status can be reprogrammed into “investments” (a constant Obama word) in a Euro-style 19% of GDP in social protection programs.”

So, beware in this Halloween season of the terrors and horrors that may, in the future, lurk in the dark corners of Wasington.

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