Sustainability: The New Holy Grail

Posted by Larry Miller on December 29, 2010 under How | 3 Comments to Read

monty_python_and_holy_grailIt’s difficult to watch a newscast on any channel these days where the word “sustainability” is not batted about as the ruling class attempts to tell us what we are, and are not capable of doing. We are told that our lifestyles are not sustainable. We are told that our leadership in the world is not sustainable. We are told that our consumption of resources is not sustainable. We are told these things by members of the party that has been pretty much in charge for the past fifty plus years. One has to wonder how they let us get into this fix in the first place.

The whole argument about the whether our path through the world is sustainable or not revolves around the question of whether the American genius that made this country the superpower in the world is capable of maintaining our position. To say that our lifestyle and position in the world is not sustainable is to say that Americans have lost their ability to create new products, concepts and energy sources. To say America is not sustainable, the speaker shows his lack of faith in the American people, the free market system that has carried us to the pinnacle of the global economy and the “divine providence” that guided our nation into existence is unreliable.

These naysayers, even when they recognize the historical significance of these factors, are telling us our time has run out and the individualism that has built our nation and made it prosper must give way to the collective approach driven by leaders with little real world experience who have sheltered themselves behind the ivy covered walls of academia, theorizing about all sorts of things, we, the little people, should be doing.

The American genius that put men on the moon, established the arsenal of democracy and created the prosperity that was the envy of the world has solved most every legitimate problem our nation faced. Glenn Beck’s recommended reading of the Five Thousand Year Leap chronicles not only the advances in science, technology, agriculture and society, but the principles that made them possible. These principles revolve around individualism, morality, freedom and recognition of the Creator… all of which are denied by the discouraging words questioning our sustainability.

We are at a fork in the road. We can listen to those who believe our best days are behind us and turn our children’s future over to an incapable and uncaring bureaucracy, or we can tell them we will not roll over and play dead while they destroy our economy and freedom. But simply telling them “No!” will not get the job done. Each of us may be called to combat these anti-American, anti-freedom and anti-Christian forces in a different way.

It is essential that we respond to this call and not shrink back. Shrinking back will not help our families, nor will it please our Creator. When we hear from those who tell us they are smarter than we are and that we should do things that are wrong or foolish, we need to give them all the respect they deserve as purveyors of false wisdom. They have no right to run our lives or our country. We need to remember the words of Justice John Marshall, “A legislative act contrary to the Constitution is not law.” The same would also apply to regulations by unelected bodies as well.

The sustainability of the United States of America is not determined by the political class. It is determined by the American people. We can choose to believe the ruling class or we can wake up to the fact that the real ruling class is “We the people”! The political class and the formerly mainstream media have been doing their best to make us forget this power that we still have. They are wrong and we have no obligation to believe them.

In some ways, there are some things taking place that really are unsustainable – and that is the debt accumulation of the people inside the beltway. They are not spending their money. They are spending all the money they can beg, steal or borrow from the American taxpayers and the Chinese. The problem is the interest, which if left unchecked, will overshadow our government’s annual revenue so nothing will be left for the legitimate government operations. This is one area where we need to take the concept of sustainability very seriously!

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  • Allyn Kemp said,

    I remember the mainstream media and the democratic party trying to sell that idea back in the 70s.

    Then a soft spoken guy named Ronald Reagan was elected president, and he said our best days were before us.

    He went to work and proved it.

    If the politicians will just stop slapping the invisible hand we will continue to be great. By the grace of God another leader may take that job in 2012, and lead us out of the political wilderness.

  • Alex Zorach said,

    If you want a different and very non-mainstream perspective on sustainability, you might enjoy my post about sustainability and freedom. In this post I argue that true sustainability is achieved not by government regulation and the use of fines and the court system to punish unsustainable behaviors. I also have a post about Sustainability: Building a Consensus Between Liberals and Conservatives which you might enjoy because it highlights the ways in which conservative approaches have been highly sustainable in certain arenas–issues that most Liberals in the U.S. like to ignore.

    There are so many sustainability-related issues that liberals in the U.S. have not done much to address. One huge barrier to sustainability, as I see it, is income tax. Income tax taxes work–productive activity, activity that creates wealth. I think we would have a much more sustainable economy if we phased out all income and payroll taxes, and instead worked solely on use-taxes (NOT Value-added-taxes or sales taxes as these also tax wealth creation–I am a firm believer that wealth creation should not be taxed at all).

    I also think that you have nailed it that debt one of the most unsustainable things about American society: both the national debt, and individual household debt.

    I personally believe that small government and sustainability go hand-in-hand. Sustainability is all about wise use of resources, and that’s the very core of fiscal conservatism.

    I’d also like to see people talk more about the relationship between family and sustainability. As I see it, I think it’s a huge problem that economic circumstances force many families in America to have both parents work full-time. I’m a firm believer that having one full-time stay-at-home parent (whether it’s the mother, father, or some split as the parents both work part-time) is much healthier for a family than having both parents working and the younger kids plopped down in daycare. And yet the political debate doesn’t seem to focus on this issue. Instead it’s just focusing on driving the economy more and more towards higher GDP, regardless of whether or not people’s quality of life is actually increasing.

    What do you think about these issues?

  • Larry Miller said,

    The main problem with using the concept of sustainability is that it has no real meaning in most cases. It also assumes that no advances will be made to solve some of the issues so troubling to those who advance the concept. The US did not become a great nation by worrying about problems that “might” occur… which is a preoccupation of many currently in government and in the formerly mainstream media. What we did was move forward solving today’s problem with faith in ourselves, our fellow countrymen and our God that tomorrow’s problems will be solved with tomorrow’s solutions. I know this kind of thinking drives our statist leaders up a wall because they can’t control it or us… yet this is the path to greatness. All they have to offer is the path to mediocrity and failure. Central planning never worked and never will.

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