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Thursday, March 10, 2022

Look Back to Look Ahead

Are we doomed to repeat history’s disasters?

For centuries, man has sought to predict the future, whether by astrology, palm reading, tarot cards, tea leaves or crystal balls. In more modern times, sociologists and statisticians have developed scientific methods for rationally predicting the future through trend analysis and cyclical patterns, such as when interest rates are lower, the stock market rises, and bond prices go down (just as an example).

It’s easy to understand why we are so fascinated by predicting the future. Comedian George Burns may have said it best and most simply: “I look to the future because that’s where I’m going to spend the rest of my life.” Einstein said he didn’t worry about the future because it comes soon enough.

So, with all of that said, I will share with you a method of predicting the future regarding the direction of our country. With this method, you will be able to predict the policies of this administration and amaze your friends on a variety of important subjects, especially those that aren’t yet dominating our national conversation.

Here is how you do it: It’s called learning from history.

That’s it. For example, take any issue, particularly one which the Left feels will advance their political agenda in Washington. Then, look to history where governments have instituted policies to address a similar issue. Did those policies succeed or fail?

By “fail,” I mean did the costs greatly outweigh the benefits? For example, look at foreign aid programs that don’t really help many foreigners. Or programs that increase government spending for schools but don’t educate students very well. Or welfare assistance programs for the poor that do not lift the poor much out of poverty.

In present times, how about President Biden ignoring the history of the fall of Saigon and repeating it in Afghanistan? Or look to what Biden is proposing as his tax policy, which is eerily similar to the tax increases proposed by President Franklin Roosevelt in 1935, which only lengthened and deepened the Great Depression.

What about America electing a “man of the people” as president (like Joe Biden), and ending up with long lines at the pump, skyrocketing inflation, global conflict, high unemployment, weak job growth and rising tensions between Israel and its neighbors, just like we did when Jimmy Carter was elected?

What about the similarity of Biden’s weakness with Vladimir Putin to FDR’s weakness that convinced Hitler that he could take Europe?

More generally, look at the European countries and the results from generations of socialist government policies, nationalizing everything from banks to automobile manufacturing, insurance, health care, education and energy production. The economic competitiveness of these European countries pales in comparison to the economies around the world. Yet, Biden is following the same failed policies of those European countries, where entitlement, dependence on others, envy, irresponsibility and lack of ambition have led to a lower quality of life for all.

Now, perhaps Biden’s interest in repeating failed government policies is because he believes that everyone who has tried them before him just didn’t do them well enough. Maybe he thinks they weren’t smart enough to understand how to implement those policies in the first place, but that if he tries them, he’ll get it right. But that’s just the arrogance of those who think they are smarter than you.

For us all, the trouble is that even if he gets it right, it still will be wrong for America. And the history will show it.

Louis R. Avallone is a Shreveport businessman, attorney and author of “Bright Spots, Big Country, What Makes America Great.” He is also a former aide to U.S. Representative Jim McCrery and editor of The Caddo Republican. His columns have appeared regularly in 318 Forum since 2007. Follow him on Facebook, on Twitter @louisravallone or by e-mail at louisavallone@mac.com, and on American Ground Radio at 101.7FM and 710 AM, weeknights from 6 - 7 p.m., and streaming live on keelnews.com.

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