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27 June 20009 - Which road do we follow?

Before leaving on our 2009 Agricultural Tour of Norway, I received an e-mail from a long-time friend of mine in that country saying "Welcome to our World". He was not welcoming me to Norway, per se, but he was welcoming me to the world of socialism. Norway is one of the most socialistic countries in the world. As a matter of fact, their citizens joke that the government takes care of them from the ‘womb to the tomb’. And my Norwegian friend said "it looks like America is coming our way".

It did get me to thinking and it certainly made me wonder what the people who crafted the Constitution might think about what is happening in the United States now with increased government involvement in the private sector...when the President of the United States can fire the head of General Motors and where the federal government now owns and operates the automobile industry and a large part of the banking industry and perhaps soon, the health care industry. These industries will be managed by a corporation that I consider to be the worst-run company on the planet, the U.S. government.

Some people share that concern about the road map we are following; I doubt that we'll go all the way to the "from the womb to the tomb" care, but there is no question the government has made inroads into private enterprise and industry in this country to a degree that many of us could not have envisioned a few years ago. But this is nothing new.

Let me share with you words from a speech delivered by Dick McGuire, President of the New York Farm Bureau in 1975. Dick said "The congressional pastime of throwing money at problems to make them go away has become a national sport.There's another more frightening dimension of losing control of deficits and accelerated spending. Government itself, tries to impose more and more control and with every increase of government, there is a corresponding reduction in individual freedom. We must regain control of government expenditures. First we elect people that believe in balancing the budget. Second, we support a constitutional amendment requiring it yearly, by restricting spending to a realistic percent of gross national product. Between free enterprise and outright socialism is the condition toward which the United States is now gravitating...a constant increase of governmental interference in business, where it makes more and more decisions, owns more and more property and takes more and more profit."

That sounds to me a lot like today, but remember, Dick McGuire delivered that speech nearly 35 years ago!It will make for some interesting conversation when I visit with my friend and other people in Norway and ask if they really are fans of socialism. Regardless of their answer, I know it is a road I don't want to follow in America because I still prefer the freedom of choice.

My thoughts on Samuelson Sez.