When you hear the term “American Exceptionalism” what comes to mind?
Apparently, today it is a racist term meant to elevate the European culture above all others and to establish the primacy of white males. When the term is used, it often generates mockery or uninformed comments like, “I believe in American exceptionalism the way a citizen of Greece believes in Greek exceptionalism."
To use a term favored by Vice President Joe Biden, “Malarkey!”
The term means that America represents something exceptional that the human race had never before experienced, something uniquely American and something that deserves our respect and our every effort to sustain. Capitalism and American Exceptionalism are inextricably linked.
When the Pilgrims arrived in Massachusetts to settle New England, they were under contractual obligation to live communally, work industriously and send all profits from their endeavors back to their corporate sponsors in London. It was a socialist economic model.
History records they nearly starved to death... the governor’s diary reveals that able bodied men refused to work to provide for the less fortunate among their fellows nor would they extend themselves to provide profits to their “betters” across the Atlantic. Following their second winter they were in extreme danger of starving to death.
The governor broke with the socialism their sponsors in London had imposed on them and assigned every adult their own piece of property with the promise they could keep all they were able to produce.
After a single growing season, this experiment in free markets produced a secure and prosperous colony...never to be threatened again by starvation. This initial venture into “Capitalism” was a remarkable success.
This fateful experiment with a new economic model...Capitalism...marked the launching of “American Exceptionalism.” The idea of free men (and women) set loose to use their energy and expertise for their own benefit spread across the American colonies and formed the basis for the economic success of the colonies. This “free market” approach was unheard of in all of human history (with the exception of the Old Testament nation of Israel).
This absolutely amazing way of creating wealth, prosperity, a growing economy and stable communities was inculcated into our founding documents and into our government and legal system. From our colonial past through our founding (remember the Revolutionary War was fought over the unfair and confiscatory tax policies of the English throne) and through the mid-20th century this “capitalist” approach to “freedom” thrived and so did America.
American Exceptionalism shook the thrones of Western Europe to their very foundations...made America the “Melting Pot” of the world where anyone was welcome to participate in this “free market” experiment. They need only be willing to invest their “sweat equity” and take the risks required to be successful.
Then FDR implemented the income tax (a step backward toward socialism)... a tax designed to penalize success by minimizing one’s return on their personal efforts and ingenuity. Today, the avarice of our political class (think “ruling nobles”) and their notion that the goose laying golden eggs is holding out and can be enticed by the surgeon’s scalpel to produce even more wealth, threatens the genius of “American Exceptionalism.”
Do not think that America has always lived up to the noble standards of her founding...she has not, but the experiment with free markets has harnessed the best of the human race and produced more wealth for more people than any other economic system in human history.
Does free market capitalism need a referee to ensure a level field of competition? Resoundingly, “YES.”
Does free market capitalism need a powerful central planner to ensure an equal distribution of the fruits of her efforts?...only to her detriment.
Today’s noble Lords and Ladies are promising their serfs every imaginable desire free of charge. The lie is that it is free...but what is the cost?...the destruction of the very system of wealth creation they seek to ravage for their own political benefit.