Will Edwinson

Author & Storyteller

Where Is We a Headin’? A Guest Post from Rube

Rube's 1941 Black Ford pickup truck

Rube’s 1941 Ford Pickup Truck, Gertrude


Rube image by Lori Corbett – Third Raven Design – lcorbett@cableone.net

Greetings fellow blog readers.  Well, Rube is back.  He’s been boning up on his reading and has come up with some very interesting observations.  I think you’ll find his post very fascinating, as well as informative.  So without further ado, here’s Rube.

Howdy agin, folks.  Last week I  found m’self  in agreement with that Mr. Barack Obama feller—at least on one point—America ain’t what she used to be.  Mr. Obama is  changin’ America  in to what he thinks will be fer a better future.  He wants to bring about this change with more an’ bigger gov’ement. I was recently diggin’ through some of my files and found a old April, 2004, copy of the Imprimis newsletter put out by that there Hillsdale College and begun to rereadin’ it.   This particular issue contained a article taken from a speech made by a feller named Maurice P. McTigue.  He used ta be Minister of Works in New Zealand.  I discovered an interestin’ paradox in that there article. Today, New Zealand is a retreatin’ from socialism while the United States is a chargin’ full steam ahead towards it. You’re right, Mr. Obama, America sure as heck ain’t what she used to be.  We used to have much less gov’ement regulation and a heap more freedom.

Folks, did you know that prior to the 1950s, New Zealand was third in the world behind these here United States and Canada in per capita income, and by 1984, they slipped to 27th  ‘longside Portugal and Turkey?   Now that’s astoundin’. Their  gov’ement was  consumin’ 44 percent of the country’s GDP, (that stands fer gross domestic product) their debt had grown to 65 percent of GDP, unemployment was  runnin’ at 11.6 percent, and gov’ement regulation was stiflin’ their country.  I’m thinkin’ that’s where we’re headed, too, if”n we don’t change our ways of thinkin’. Them folks in New Zealand clearly realized they was in a heap of trouble and needed to do somethin’ about it.  In 1984, they bit the bullet and elected a reform gov’ement.  Then they embarked on a massive dismantlin’ of their old gov’ement.  Them elected reformers immediately identified three major problems: too much taxin’, too much spendin’, and too much gov’ement regulatin’.

Then they remodeled the income tax codes, institutin’ two rates.  A 33 percent flat rate fer the top earners—down from 66 percent, and a 19 percent flat tax rate fer low end earners down from 38 percent.  Included in this reform was a 10 percent sales tax.  All their other taxes was eliminated—property taxes, capital gains taxes, inheritance taxes, you name it.  The whole nine yards of other taxes was gone.  An’ you wanna know what the result was, folks?  Revenues to the gove’ment actually increased by 20 percent.  This here surplus money was used to pay down the national debt.  They was changes on the spendin’ side, too.  Gov’ement agencies was no longer simply allocated money like they was before. No siree, the senior executives of them agencies had to bid fer their money under contract, and make it clear to what could be expected in return fer the money.  The first question put to them agencies was, “what are you doin’?”  The second question was, “what should you be  doin’?”  Based on their answers, they was told, “eliminate what you shouldn’t be doin’.”

This here process reduced agencies that once had as many as 17,000 employees down to 17.  They cut a heap of workers from Mr. McTigue’s own Ministry of Works.  That agency was reduced from 28,000 workers down to just himself.  Regulations was put into a more common sense context by rewritin’ the statutes on which they was based. One set of regulations that was 25 inches thick was reduced to 348 pages while still accomplishin’ desirable goals.  With the dismantlin’ of  gov’ement agencies, the private sector flourished, and them there laid off gov’ement workers found employment in the private sector,  an’ they even got higher pay, too.  The same thing could happen here, too, folks, if’n we would elect people to Congress that was interested in what was good fer the people what elected ’em,  instead of bein’ interested in what they could get from havin’ them cushy jobs.

Then they was the matter of farm subsidies.  New Zealand had the same situation  as us folks here in the U.S. of A.  One ag industry, their sheep bid’ness, was literally  goin’ bust.  Lambs was  sellin’ fer about $12.50 per head on the open market, and the gov’ement was a subsidizin’  ‘em another $12.50, makin’ the amount the sheep rancher received fer them there lambs $25.00 a head.  The gov’ement eliminated all subsidies on them lambs. This forced the sheep ranchers to become self-reliant marketers.  An’ you know what, folks?  By 1999, lambs was  bringin’ $115.00 a head on the open market.  That’s a heap of improvement, wouldn’t you agree?

Their public education system was also a shamble.  They discovered about 70 percent of school allocated money was goin’ to administration,  and test scores was well below world average. They eliminated all boards of education, and the schools was placed into the hands of local trusties elected by the parents from each school. Parents was basically given block vouchers to spend in any school of their choosin’, includin’ private schools.  Private school students at that time had a academic ‘vantage of 14 – 15 percent over public school students.  And, again, you know what, folks? Under this new plan, because of competition, public schools’ performance ratings caught up to the private schools within three years and had experienced no net loss of student enrollment.

Their was many more reforms that Mr. McTigue talked about; too many to discuss here in the limited space Will gave me, but I think you git the picture.  What I have shared with you is a purty good indication of what can be done if people have the resolve.   New Zealand has a way to go before it gits back to where it was durin’ 1950s and years past,  but bear in mind, the U.S. is a headin’ fer a rude awakenin,’ and is a racin’—at lightnin’ speed— down that same road to where New Zealand was afore that there country woke up.  Portugal and Turkey might be just over the horizon fer us folks in the good ol’ U.S.

P.S.  I has just one last comment I’d like ta make to them so-called Republicans that’s in Congress that thinks the way to win elections is to be like Democrats.  Stop a listenin’ to them liberal socialist news people who keep tellin’ ya that’s what you has to do to git elected.  The real reason you ain’t a winnin’ elections is because you ain’t stickin’ to good ol’ GOP principles.  If’n you wanna be like Demacrats, then join the Demacrat party.

See ya next time.  —Rube

Well, there you have it folks.  Rube makes a lot of sense, wouldn’t you say?  Now if you’d like to read some stories about an earlier era in America’s history, why not take a gander at my book Buddy…His Trials and Treasures, and join Buddy in some of his escapades and adventures.  Who knows, they may even conjure up some old childhood memories of your own.  You can read the prologue and first three full adventures by clicking on the free download button at upper right of this page and get your free copy.  Happy reading. 

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