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BBHQ Boomer Essays:

If I Wanted America to Fail

Our Boomer-In-Charge at BBHQ, Hershel Chicowitz, writes about boomer memories and current events... from a boomer’s perspective. He is sometimes funny, sometimes provocative, some-
times a little of each. We hope you get a kick out of our Boomer Essays.

Rarely... very rarely... do I come across something on the Internet that causes me to stop whatever I’m thinking about in the background... to pause the play button on my MP3 player... and to focus all my attention on. This essay, and the artistic manner in which the author presents it, is enormously profound and thought-provoking. You may not agree with all of it — or any of it; but it will cause you to think. And regardless, you should not ignore it. Read it; watch it; share it.

This essay is available in its entirety to all visitors. Enjoy!

In 1965, the late Paul Harvey -- journalist, writer, and profound thinker -- presented an essay he called "If I Were the Devil." It is a bit dated, but still relevant today. (You can read it here.)

Unfortunately, in the last half-century we have not learned a great deal about what has made this country the most powerful, most prosperous, and most envied in the world.

Nearly a half-century later, almost to the day, Ryan Houck posted a presentation on YouTube called "If I Wanted America to Fail." It is more topical, but it makes the same point. A few people watched it... then a few more... when I checked, the count was over two million.

It is... more than pretty cool.

This is a short excerpt from the video:

video size + 8; loading....

Rarely... very rarely... do I come across something on the Internet that causes me to stop whatever I’m thinking about in the background... to pause the play button on my MP3 player... and to focus all my attention on. This essay, and the impressive manner in which the author presents it, is enormously profound and thought-provoking. You may not agree with all of it -- or any of it; but it will cause you to think. And regardless, you should not ignore it. Read it; watch it; share it.

If I wanted America to fail …

To follow, not lead; to suffer, not prosper; to despair, not dream.

I would start with energy.

I’d cut off America’s supply of cheap, abundant energy. I couldn’t take it by force. So, I’d make Americans feel guilty for using the energy that heats their homes, fuels their cars, runs their businesses, and powers their economy.

I’d make cheap energy expensive, so that expensive energy would seem cheap.

I would empower unelected bureaucrats to all-but-outlaw America’s most abundant sources of energy. And after banning its use in America, I’d make it illegal for American companies to ship it overseas.

If I wanted America to fail …

I’d use our schools to teach one generation of Americans that our factories and our cars will cause a new Ice Age, and I’d muster a straight face so I could teach the next generation that they’re causing Global Warming.

And when it’s cold out, I’d call it Climate Change instead.

I’d imply that America’s cities and factories could run on wind power and wishes. I’d teach children how to ignore the hypocrisy of condemning logging, mining and farming — while having roofs over their heads, heat in their homes and food on their tables. I would never teach children that the free market is the only force in human history to uplift the poor, establish the middle class and create lasting prosperity.

Instead, I’d demonize prosperity itself, so that they will not miss what they will never have.

If I wanted America to fail …

I would create countless new regulations and seldom cancel old ones. They would be so complicated that only bureaucrats, lawyers and lobbyists could understand them. That way small businesses with big ideas wouldn’t stand a chance – and I would never have to worry about another Thomas Edison, Henry Ford or Steve Jobs.

I would ridicule as “Flat Earthers” those who urge us to lower energy costs by increasing supply. And when the evangelists of commonsense try to remind people about the law of supply and demand, I’d enlist a sympathetic media to drown them out.

If I wanted America to fail …

I would empower unaccountable bureaucracies seated in a distant capitol to bully Americans out of their dreams and their property rights. I’d send federal agents to raid guitar factories for using the wrong kind of wood; I’d force homeowners to tear down the homes they built on their own land.

I’d make it almost impossible for farmers to farm, miners to mine, loggers to log, and builders to build.

And because I don’t believe in free markets, I’d invent false ones. I’d devise fictitious products—like carbon credits—and trade them in imaginary markets. I’d convince people that this would create jobs and be good for the economy.

If I wanted America to fail …

For every concern, I’d invent a crisis; and for every crisis, I’d invent the cause; Like shutting down entire industries and killing tens of thousands of jobs in the name of saving spotted owls. And when everyone learned the stunning irony that the owls were victims of their larger cousins—and not people—it would already be decades too late.

If I wanted America to fail …

I’d make it easier to stop commerce than start it – easier to kill jobs than create them – more fashionable to resent success than to seek it.

When industries seek to create jobs, I’d file lawsuits to stop them. And then I’d make taxpayers pay for my lawyers.

If I wanted America to fail …

I would transform the environmental agenda from a document of conservation to an economic suicide pact. I would concede entire industries to our economic rivals by imposing regulations that cost trillions. I would celebrate those who preach environmental austerity in public while indulging a lavish lifestyle in private.

I’d convince Americans that Europe has it right, and America has it wrong.

If I wanted America to fail …

I would prey on the goodness and decency of ordinary Americans.

I would only need to convince them … that all of this is for the greater good.

If I wanted America to fail, I suppose I wouldn’t change a thing.

Nailed it, huh?

You can watch the complete video here: http://freemarketamerica.org.

Read it; watch it; share it.

If I Were the Devil

Legendary ABC Radio commentator Paul Harvey broadcast this essay on April 3, 1965:

If I were the Devil . . . I mean, if I were the Prince of Darkness, I would of course, want to engulf the whole earth in darkness. I would have a third of its real estate and four-fifths of its population, but I would not be happy until I had seized the ripest apple on the tree, so I should set about however necessary to take over the United States. I would begin with a campaign of whispers. With the wisdom of a serpent, I would whisper to you as I whispered to Eve: “Do as you please.” “Do as you please.” To the young, I would whisper, “The Bible is a myth.” I would convince them that man created God instead of the other way around. I would confide that what is bad is good, and what is good is “square”. In the ears of the young marrieds, I would whisper that work is debasing, that cocktail parties are good for you. I would caution them not to be extreme in religion, in patriotism, in moral conduct. And the old, I would teach to pray. I would teach them to say after me: “Our Father, which art in Washington” . . .

If I were the devil, I’d educate authors in how to make lurid literature exciting so that anything else would appear dull an uninteresting. I’d threaten T.V. with dirtier movies and vice versa. And then, if I were the devil, I’d get organized. I’d infiltrate unions and urge more loafing and less work, because idle hands usually work for me. I’d peddle narcotics to whom I could. I’d sell alcohol to ladies and gentlemen of distinction. And I’d tranquilize the rest with pills. If I were the devil, I would encourage schools to refine yound intellects but neglect to discipline emotions . . . let those run wild. I would designate an athiest to front for me before the highest courts in the land and I would get preachers to say “she’s right.” With flattery and promises of power, I could get the courts to rule what I construe as against God and in favor of pornography, and thus, I would evict God from the courthouse, and then from the school house, and then from the houses of Congress and then, in His own churches I would substitute psychology for religion, and I would deify science because that way men would become smart enough to create super weapons but not wise enough to control them.

If I were Satan, I’d make the symbol of Easter an egg, and the symbol of Christmas, a bottle. If I were the devil, I would take from those who have and I would give to those who wanted, until I had killed the incentive of the ambitious. And then, my police state would force everybody back to work. Then, I could separate families, putting children in uniform, women in coal mines, and objectors in slave camps. In other words, if I were Satan, I’d just keep on doing what he’s doing.

Paul Harvey...... good day.


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