For the average American, the standard of living is in rapid decline. One does not need economic data or statistics to corroborate this statement; it is obvious. Soaring gas prices and bare shelves at the grocery store are evidence enough. High unemployment – caused initially by mandatory shutdowns and exacerbated by the enhanced unemployment assistance that discouraged millions from returning to work – is also a significant factor. One should bear in mind that when businesses face staffing shortages, goods and services become both more expensive and harder to obtain. Then there are the continued restrictions on travel and other previously normal social activity.
These realities are all the proof one needs that the lifestyle Americans enjoyed up until early 2020 is deteriorating at an alarming pace. Is it the incompetence and mismanagement of Congress and the Biden administration that has created this downward spiral, though, or is this all part of a long-term plan? Are U.S. citizens being conditioned to accept scarcity, hardship – and perhaps even potential future rationing of certain items?
Control Through Deprivation
To determine whether that last question is valid or nothing more than paranoid delusion, one needs to take a step back and consider a more fundamental question: How does a government most effectively control the people it governs? How does it bend them to its will, leaving them with no choice but to conform and comply? One way, of course, is through fear of the government itself, but that is a dangerous strategy when dealing with tens of millions of people who own guns. The jackboot approach only goes so far until people get angry enough to start fighting back.
The alternative method of instilling total subservience is to make it extremely difficult and expensive for regular people to express their opinions, travel, and socialize, and to limit what they can purchase or own – either through regulation or simply by making certain consumer goods too expensive or near impossible to obtain.
Though almost all educated and intelligent people consider communism to be a complete economic failure, there was always an element of conscious intent behind the shortages and rampant inflation common to every communist system. The old Soviet Union, for example, had the means to produce enough cars – albeit of dubious quality – to make it possible for most people to own one. Yet, it was, for the average Soviet citizen, an almost lifetime endeavor to obtain a personal vehicle. First, they would have to obtain permission to even get on the waiting list. Then, they would wait for up to seven years or more for a vehicle to, basically, be allocated to them. Finally, they would have to have saved for many, many years to buy the car because it was not possible to obtain a loan for the purchase of a private vehicle.
All the indications are that Joe Biden’s government is driving America in this direction – no pun intended. It appears to be the agenda of the far left to teach Americans that scarcity and lower expectations are the new normal, to use a disturbingly trendy turn of phrase.
The War on Consumerism
Conduct an internet search for news items related to consumerism and one will discover a host of articles that are aimed at blaming this element of American culture for current economic and supply-chain woes or portraying consumerism as evil, selfish, and bad for the environment. Additionally, some articles are intended to convince people they must simply expect less.
Fox News’ Laura Ingraham recently pointed out a couple of examples of this attempted re-education of the American public. Published in Slate on Oct. 22, Kevin Mattson, the Connor Study Professor of Contemporary History at Ohio University, penned a nostalgic piece that almost begged Mr. Biden to deliver an updated version of former President Jimmy Carter’s July 1975 speech, in which he attempted to blame his economic failures on the “self-indulgence” of ordinary Americans. “[W]e’ve discovered,” Carter lectured during a televised address, “that owning things and consuming things does not satisfy our longing for meaning.”
This push to end consumerism and private ownership of, well, anything, is not a new idea. It has been the driving force behind globalism for many years. Recall the Nov. 10, 2016, article published in Forbes: “Welcome to 2030: I Own Nothing, Have No Privacy And Life Has Never Been Better.” The author of that chilling glimpse into a possible future was borrowing from Klaus Schwab, the founder and executive chairman of the World Economic Forum, who once predicted that by 2030, “you’ll own nothing – and be happy about it.”
Another example pointed to by Ingraham is a recent opinion piece published on the website of NBC News, in which the author railed against car ownership, suggesting it was environmentally destructive, recklessly dangerous, and also racist (the premise being that black people are less likely to own cars, leading to their greater exposure to death or serious injury from being hit by a car as they walk the streets). The author lamented about “how lethal our car dependency already is.” She went on to assert that, when it comes to America’s car culture, “We need to open our eyes and see that we’re at the end of the road.”
So, when White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki tells reporters the supply-chain crisis is being aggravated by Americans’ spending sprees, and when journalists and government officials tell us that Christmas festivities will need to effectively be canceled this year, consider what is driving the narrative. When the shelves in the grocery stores look increasingly barren and cars become so scarce and expensive – and so burdened by new government regulation – that the average person can barely afford to buy one, consider that it may not all be driven by rank stupidity; it might be all part of the plan.
~ Read more from Graham J. Noble.