Shire Network News #106 has been released. The feature interview is with two ex-Muslims – Sheila (not her real name for reasons which are probably obviuous) who lives in the United States, and Adil Zeshan from the United Kingdom. They talk about why they left, and why the fear the reaction from their former compatriots.. Click here for the show notes, links, and ways to listen to the show; directly from the web site, by downloading the mp3 file, or by subscribing with your podcatcher of choice.

Below is the text of my commentary segment.

Hi, this is Doug Payton for Shire Network News, asking you to “Consider This”.

“A chicken in every pot, and a car in every garage.” That was the slogan of Republican Herbert Hoover in his campaign for President of the United States. His promise of prosperity likely helped propel him into the Oval Office. Well, it looks like Hillary Clinton has taken that same promise and updated it for 21st century Democrats.

Her first trial balloon was the idea that the government would give each child a $5000 US Savings Bond when they were born. More than just a chicken in every pot, this would be a bond for every baby. But unlike Hoover’s promise of prosperity, which came with the assumption that people would earn those chickens and cars due to a healthy economy, Clinton is doing what liberals do best; giving “free” money away and taxing the growth out of the economy to pay for it.

But this trial balloon was made of lead. Apparently the legality of vote buying is not in question with most Americans. And so, with this attempt at pure, unadulterated socialism put back in the vaults of the Democratic Party, no doubt to be brought back out again in the fullness of time, Mrs. Clinton tried something less brazen.

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton proposed tax cuts of up to $1,000 a year on Tuesday to encourage millions of working-age families to open personal 401(k) retirement accounts. The New York senator said the program would be paid for through higher estate taxes.

Now this is ironic on any number of levels. Let’s start with the obvious one; using “tax cuts” and “Democrat” in the same sentence. OK, OK, she does wind up trading one tax for another, but to not just seem to be giving away “free” money must have really hurt.

And what tax is she trading with? The estate tax! Otherwise known as “The Second Tax on The Stuff You’ve Already Been Taxed On When You Earned It”, it’s assessed on your estate when you die, hence a third, more well-known term, “The Death Tax”. Do you see the circle of life here? She gives you a tax break for retirement that she takes back from your heirs when you die. It’s the political equivalent of a perpetual motion machine. And it’s just as illusory. Or you could look at it as a forced loan from your children. Now there’s compassion.

And consider this; what she’s essentially doing is (get ready for this) partially privatizing the handling of retirement benefits! She’s not talking about a $1000 boost in your Social Security benefits, she’s talking about your own, personal 401(k). You gotta’ give her credit for coming around, even a little bit. But again, we’re swimming in irony here..

And yet, it still really just is vote buying, if clothed in privatization. If at first you don’t succeed, buy, buy again.

So whatever happened to Hoover’s promise? Well, a scant 7 months into his administration, the Great Depression dashed all his plans for prosperity, proving once again that no matter the promises a presidential candidate makes, the future isn’t always perfectly predictable. (Just ask George W. Bush about the first September after he took office.)

The best a President or Prime Minister can do is make economic conditions as favorable as possible, so that if stock markets or buildings come crashing down, you will be in the best position to recover. Redistributing wealth through an inefficient bureaucracy isn’t the way to do that.

I’ll leave you with a quote talking about the state of the republic:

Already long ago, from when we sold our vote to no man, the People have abdicated our duties; for the People who once upon a time handed out military command, high civil office, legions – everything, now restrains itself and anxiously hopes for just two things: bread and circuses

No, not our republic. This poet was talking about the Roman empire of the first century, but the results of relying more and more on government rather than ourselves are the same regardless of your time period. If Mrs. Clinton is elected President, perhaps we would need to update this observation just a little. The People may now be anxiously hoping for bread, circuses, and 401(k)s.

Consider that.

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