By Stanford Erickson, a resident of Vero Beach, FL who has worked in journalism 40 years. His website is http://www.StanfordErickson.com.
WHAT DO PRESIDENTS FRANKLIN DELANO ROOSEVELT, RICHARD NIXON, BILL CLINTON AND DONALD TRUMP HAVE IN COMMON? THEY HAVE ALL SOUGHT TO TRANSFORM AMERICA WHILE KEEPING IT UNIQUE.
Most other U.S. presidents over the last 100 years just tried to keep more balls up in the air than falling to the ground, with the exception of President Barack Obama. He sought policies that transformed America while not keeping it unique.
Unlike FDR, Nixon, Reagan, Clinton and Trump, Obama sought to transform American by undermining what is exceptional about America.
How is America exceptional? Over the last 200 years or so we have been one of the few nations in the world to transform itself into a great nation by achieving social and economic upward mobility.
During the Great Depression, many in our country sought socialism, communism and fascism. FDR found a way to improve the social and economic level of people while still allowing regulated entrepreneurial capitalism to exist. It is entrepreneurial capitalism, with regulated safeguards against corruption and greed that fosters social and economic mobility.
Nixon promised “a piece of the action” to everyone willing to work.
Reagan and Bill Clinton zeroed in on the excesses of Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society with much needed welfare reform. Keep the safety net but force those who can work to work.
President Donald Trump speaks during a rally Wednesday, June 21, 2017, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. (Photo: AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
Trump, for all his bluster and boast, has tapped into the pent-up angst of those who recognize that their attempts at upward social and economic mobility were being eroded by Obama’s efforts that are were transforming America into the class and caste status of European socialism.
Although Obama’s stated intent was to improve the economic well-being for the lower and middle class, his policies actually added to a more permanent lower class. Those on food stamps rose by 10.7 million, a 32 percent increase. His Federal Reserve kept interests rates below 1 percent resulting in stagnant growth in savings by the middle class and retirees receiving few cost-of-living increases to Social Security. The rich, on the other hand, had access to cheap money for investment and for buying out companies owned by the middle class.
Trump, an entrepreneurial capitalist, understands that growing the U.S. economy raises all boats, small and big. Obama fostered overzealous regulatory polices that greatly contributed to a stagnant economy of less than 2 percent growth in gross domestic product all eight years of his presidency. Trump is deregulating. Obama encouraged borderless entry into the United States adding to a permanent lower class. Trump is strengthening borders. Obama fostered trade policies that pitted American blue-collar workers against destitute workers of other nations. Trump is renegotiating trade agreements.
It is not surprising that the establishment, both Democrats and Republicans, generally went along with Obama and generally are trying to get rid of President Trump. The establishment, those who got theirs, would rather shut the door on upward mobility.
The Affordable Care Act is a perfect example of Obama creating fundamental transformation in America and not keeping it unique. The U.S. has over the last 50 years created the best quality health-care system in the world. It did this primarily by providing economic reward for many of our best and brightest to go into medicine. Talk to entrepreneurial private-practice physicians and they will tell you their earnings have decreased under ACA.
A better way to transform health care is to begin with keeping the physician happy within the system. The ACA not only diminishes the control by individual physicians but entry of illegal immigrants under Obama has overburdened the entire health-care system.
An example of a better entrepreneurial approach to health care is being offered locally by Steward Health Care Systems, new owner of Sebastian River Medical Center. Steward rewards private physicians to use its facilities by potentially increasing the physicians’ earnings when they permit Steward to use its leverage to negotiate private insurance contracts for the physicians.
Trump’s “America First” is an attempt to transform the world to be more like America rather than make America more like the rest of the world.